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Northwestern State vs. Arizona: Three things we learned about the Wildcats

Not the easiest game to watch

Casey Sapio-USA TODAY Sports

The Arizona Wildcats extended their home winning streak to 42 games on Sunday night, taking down the Northwestern State Demons by a score of 61-42.

We're definitely still learning a lot about this team, and here are three of the big ones from Sunday.

1. Arizona needs a healthy Ryan Anderson this year

Ryan Anderson was held out of this one with an ankle injury, and it showed in more ways than one. The offense sputtered big time, as the Wildcats only manged to go 22-60 from the field.

"The ability to rest him was far more important for us big picture-wise," Sean Miller said after the game. "It's far more important for us to move into Anaheim 4-0 having a healthy Ryan Anderson, and a basketball team that is on the quest to become better."

A lot of the struggles came because Northwestern State did not play their typical style of basketball, but if Anderson had been in the lineup, this team would have dealt with that surprise a lot better than it did.

"In my opinion, Ryan Anderson is an All-Pac-12 performer," Miller continued. "And he's one of the leaders of our team, so we played without that, and there was a drop off at times. You kind of felt not having him on the offensive glass; another double-figure scorer....and I'm anxious to get Ryan back. He's a really big part of our team for sure."

2. Gabe York is this team's second-best player

The senior guard is off to a great start this year, and he continued it against the Demons. He was the only player to make more than three shots (6/12), and no one shot better than 50% on the night. York also knocked down four of his nine three-point attempts.

He was making some nice passes throughout the game, even though Sean Miller said after the game that he would have liked to see York give the ball up a couple more times. He only finished with one assist, but it could have been a lot more if other guys had been knocking down their shots.

"Dusan (Ristic) doesn't like to finish my passes for some reason," York joked with Dusan sitting next to him. "I'm just trying to be an all-around basketball player, and points are points, but at the end of the day, if I'm not doing the other things well, how am I really helping the team?"

3. Both point guards are making good decisions in their own ways

Between the combination of Kadeem Allen and Parker Jackson-Cartwright, Arizona point guards had 11 assists and no turnovers. They also came up with five total steals.

"They're great, I think they've both done a great job of not turning the ball over," York said of Jackson-Cartwright and Allen. "I think both of them have come a long way since the beginning of practice."

"Kadeem is a scoring point guard, and he's not doing a lot of that right now because he's trying to get the team involved, so give a lot of credit to him," York continued. "That's not who he is, and he's done a great job to adapt to that starting point guard role."

"And Parker, coming off a year where he didn't get to play a lot because T.J. (McConnell) was still here, he's done a great job getting stronger, understanding the pace of college basketball and he's done a great job of passing the ball and getting no turnovers."

There were times when Allen was being used at what looked like the three, with Parker at point and York at the other guard spot. If the former JuCo Player of the Year is able to play three positions effectively throughout the season, that could be a deadly weapon for the Wildcats come tournament time.