Nick Johnson scored 23 points and freshman Aaron Gordon added 16 points and eight rebounds to lead No. 6 Arizona to a 69-60 victory over San Diego State on Thursday night.
JJ O'Brien and Xavier Thames had 19 points each for the Aztecs (1-1), who had won two of the last three meetings with Arizona (3-0), the loss coming in the final seconds of last year's Diamond Head Classic.
Arizona had a 14-point lead midway through the second half, but San Diego State rallied, closing within four points on Thames' layup with less than 2 minutes remaining.
Gordon then had a soaring dunk off an inbounds pass to put away the Aztecs in the game played at Viejas Arena.
Arizona prevailed despite four players being in foul trouble early in the second half.
The Wildcats used an 8-0 run -- with a 3-pointer by Gordon the big shot -- to take a 24-11 lead. Gordon went to the bench when he picked up his second foul and the Aztecs took advantage to get within six points on two free throws by Matt Shrigley with 4:33 left in the half.
Johnson's three-point play put Arizona in front 31-22.
Gabe York, Arizona's sparkplug off the bench, made a driving layup and another basket to give the Wildcats their largest lead of the half at 39-25. Shrigley hit a 3-pointer just before the halftime buzzer to cut the deficit to 11 points.
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