PHOENIX — Arizona faced one challenge on the road over the weekend and had an even bigger one on a neutral court.
The Wildcats pulled out tight wins against good teams in both, a sign that they may be back on track.
Deandre Ayton had 13 points and 10 rebounds, and Arizona held on to beat No. 7 Texas A&M 67-64 on Tuesday night.
“I was happy we were able to embrace the challenge,” Arizona coach Sean Miller said. “I think this was our best defensive effort of the year.”
Arizona (6-3) picked up a big win against UNLV on Saturday and notched an even bigger one in front of a pro-Wildcats crowd that made Talking Stick Arena feel like McKale Center west.
“We survived traveling all over the road, and to play well and give ourselves a chance tonight, I’m proud of that fact,” Texas A&M coach Billy Kennedy said. “But I thought we didn’t do enough things in the second half defensively.”
Butler 81, Utah 69: INDIANAPOLIS — Kelan Martin scored a season-high 29 points and Paul Jorgensen matched his career high with 16 to lift Butler past Utah (6-2). Donnie Tillman finished with 20 points and Sedrick Barefield scored 14 as the Utes (6-2) lost for the first time in three games.
No. 1 Duke 124, St. Francis (Pa.) 67: DURHAM, N.C. — Freshman Marvin Bagley III had 21 points and 11 rebounds, and Duke (11-0) scored 71 points in the first half.
No. 3 Michigan St 62, Rutgers 52: PISCATAWAY, N.J. — Miles Bridges scored 21 points and Michigan (8-1) State overcame its worst offensive performance of the season.
No. 4 Villanova 88, No. 12 Gonzaga 72: NEW YORK — Mikal Bridges had his coming out performance as one of the top players in the nation, scoring a career-high 28 points to lead Villanova (9-0) past Gonzaga (7-2).
Ball St 80, No. 9 Notre Dame 77: SOUTH BEND, Ind. — Tayler Persons hit a 3-pointer from the left wing with 1.7 seconds remaining and Ball State shocked Notre Dame (7-2).
No. 18 West Virginia 68, No. 15 Virginia 61: MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — Jevon Carter had 23 points and 10 rebounds and Lamont West scored 22 points as West Virginia (8-1) sent Virginia (8-1) to its first loss.
Texas Tech 82, No. 22 Nevada 76: LUBBOCK, Texas — Keenan Evans scored 25 of his career-high 32 points in the second half and overtime and Texas Tech rallied from 11 points down in the second half to beat Nevada (8-1).