- Associated Press - Sunday, January 26, 2014

TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) - Aaron Gordon went on wild, fruitless drives to the basket, repeatedly shook his head in frustration and shot a free throw that had a better chance of bouncing off the floor into the basket.

The talented freshman never stopped hustling, though, and came through with some of the biggest plays of the night.

Gordon overcame a difficult night on the offensive end with his relentlessness, providing top-ranked Arizona with a huge boost down the stretch of a 65-56 victory over Utah Sunday night that extended the Wildcats’ winning streak to a school-record 20 games.

“I’ve learned from a young age that when it’s not going your way, you have to try to turn the tide and make it go your way,” Gordon said. “The ball wasn’t going through the rim tonight, but I picked up my play in other aspects.”

It’s a good thing for the Wildcats that he did.

Arizona (20-0, 7-0 Pac-12) struggled early, falling into an early 10-point hole as they struggled to figure out Utah’s variety of defenses.

The Wildcats eventually managed to decipher what the Utes were doing and wore them down with relentless defensive pressure and a dominating performance on the glass.

Arizona shot 3 of 14 from 3-point range and 40 percent overall, but made up for it with 20 offensive rebounds that led to 19 second-chance points. The Wildcats had a 40-29 rebounding advantage overall and outscored Utah 38-24 in the paint.

Nick Johnson had 22 points, hitting some big shots down the stretch to help Arizona pull away.

Gordon scored 10 points on 3-of-13 shooting, but had seven of his 12 rebounds on the offensive glass and blocked two shots, including one during Arizona’s decisive run.

Fellow freshman Rondae Hollis-Jefferson also provided a lift with his hustle, scoring 10 points while grabbing five of his seven rebounds on the offensive end.

No, it wasn’t easy, but the Wildcats pulled it out just like they have all season.

“To set a record at Arizona, it’s so meaningful because of the history here,” Arizona coach Sean Miller said. “It’s special.”

Utah (14-6, 3-5) remained winless on the road.

Delon Wright led Utah 19 points and Jordan Loveridge added 13 on 3-of-14 shooting.

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