TUCSON, Ariz. — Arizona freshman forward Aaron Gordon had 19 points and a career-high 15 rebounds as the No. 3 Wildcats never trailed and clinched the outright Pac-12 regular-season title with a 79-66 victory over Stanford on Sunday night.
The Wildcats (27-2, 14-2 Pac-12) ended their home season with an 18-0 record at McKale Center. They finish the regular season next week at Oregon State and Oregon.
Arizona coach Sean Miller, in his fifth season, also led the Wildcats to the outright regular-season conference title in 2011. Arizona also was undefeated at home that season, going 17-0.
Stanford (18-10, 9-7 Pac-12) was swept on its Arizona trip this week.
Arizona led by double digits throughout the second half and by as many as 25, at 68-43, with 9:40 to go, on a nifty play by Gordon. As he drove across the lane, he faked a behind-the-back pass, pulled the ball back with his right hand and finished with a finger-roll.
Forward Josh Huestis led the Cardinal with 22 points and 12 rebounds. It was his second double-double of the season against Arizona. Guard Anthony Brown scored 14 points for Stanford, and guard Chasson Randle and forward Dwight Powell each had 12.
Point guard T.J. McConnell had 14 points for Arizona. Guard Gabe York added 12 points — all in the second half. Guard Nick Johnson scored 11, and center Kaleb Tarczewski had 10.
Arizona, which has made an effort to play faster in recent weeks, has won its past three games — at Colorado and at home against California and Stanford — by a combined (68) points.
Arizona took control at the start, using its defense to ignite the offense. The Wildcats turned three turnovers into six early points, including two on Gordon’s dunk off an alley-oop pass from McConnell for a 10-3 lead with 16:04 to go.
Defense fueled one of the prettiest sequences of the first half for Arizona. Johnson got it started with a huge blocked shot to initiate a fast break. Gordon passed to forward Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, who drove into the lane and got the ball back to Gordon on a bounce pass that split defenders. Gordon finished with a layup for a 28-17 lead with 6:54 left before halftime.
Later, Hollis-Jefferson blocked a shot near the rim, got the rebound and went coast-to-coast, finishing with a reverse layup for a 33-21 edge.
Arizona led by as many as 18 points before taking a 41-28 lead into the break. Gordon had 12 points and seven rebounds at the half. Stanford, which committed eight turnovers in the half, got 10 from wing Anthony Brown.
NOTES: Referee Verne Harris left the game with 16:24 to go, holding his left hamstring, which he appeared to injure early in the second half. He was laboring for a few possessions before stopping play so he could exit. A two-man crew officiated the rest of the game. …Arizona senior G Jordin Mayes started in place of sophomore Gabe York in honor of Senior Night at McKale Center. Mayes, the team’s only senior, entered the game averaging 1.2 points for the season and 3.6 for his career. It was his first start of the season and 17th of his career. … Stanford played its first road game against a top-five team since losing at No. 3 UCLA on March 6, 2008. … Danny Ainge, the Boston Celtics’ president of basketball operations, attended the game. … Stanford closes its regular season next week with home games against Colorado and Utah. … Chicago Bears linebacker Lance Briggs, a three-time first-team All-Pac-10 player at Arizona, attended the game.
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