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UCLA had five players score in double figures and collected 13 offensive rebounds to beat the Wildcats 77-72 and snap UA's 21-game homecourt winning streak today at McKale Center.

The loss pushed Arizona back into a first-place tie in the Pac-12 and made a somber Senior Day for UA guard Kadeem Allen.

The Bruins outrebounded UA 33-26 until the final 2:50 of the game and scored 19 second-chance points on 13 offensive rebounds

Allonzo Trier led UA with a career-high 28 points but the Wildcats made just 4 of 18 3-pointers after making 11 of 20 on Thursday against USC.

The loss meant UA went back into a first-place tie with Oregon at 15-2 in the Pac-12, after the Ducks beat Stanford earlier Saturday. Oregon holds the tiebreaker for the No. 1 seed in the Pac-12 tournament based on their Feb. 4 win over Arizona. Both schools have only games with their instate rivals remaining.

UCLA improved to 26-3 overall and 13-3 in the Pac-12, just a game in the loss column behind both UA and Oregon.

Up by four at halftime, Arizona went ahead by up to seven points early after halftime but the stats for both teams were remarkably similar through the first seven minutes of the second half: Both were shooting about 48 percent from the field, but less than 30 percent from 3-point range, and while Arizona outrebounded UCLA overall 24-20, the Bruins had converted six offensive rebounds into 10 second-chance points (six more than UA had).

UCLA\u2019s Thomas Welsh scored six unanswered points to take their first lead of the second half, 54-53, with 12:52 left.

The Bruins then parlayed that into a 19-4 overall run that gave them a 67-57 lead with 6:47 left, when UA coach Sean Miller called his final timeout. The Bruins had converted nine offensive rebounds into 17 second-chance points at that point, including a rebound basket from Holiday after Ball missed a 3-pointer.

UCLA kept the lead from there, though a 3-pointer from Trier cut it to 75-70 entering the final minute and Lauri Markkanen hit a pair of free throws to cut it to 75-72 with 29 seconds left. But even though Aaron Holiday missed the front end of a one-on-one with 19 seconds left, Allen missed a 3-pointer badly on UA\u2019s ensuing possession and UCLA hung on.

In the first half, Trier had 16 points and Jackson-Cartwright made some late-half heroics to lead Arizona to a 43-39 halftime lead.

UCLA led by up to seven points early before a rowdy McKale crowd that was on its feet for much of the half, but Jackson-Cartwright hit a corner 3 to cut the Bruins\u2019 lead to 38-36 with 2:19 left.

Keanu Pinder's block of a layup by UCLA's Isaac Hamilton later kept it tied at 39 before Jackson-Cartwright hit two free throws off a foul by Lonzo Ball.

Jackson-Cartwright later took a charge by UCLA's Aaron Holiday and, on UA's final possession of the half, drove inside to hit an 8-footer in the lane for the Wildcats' four-point halftime lead. Jackson-Cartwright finished with nine points.

UCLA finished the half shooting 43.8 percent overall but made just 4 of 15 3-pointers while UA shot 48.3 percent and outrebounded UCLA 21-15 overall. The Bruins did not score a field goal for the final 2:55 of the first half.

The Bruins were led by point guard Lonzo Ball, who had nine points, three rebounds and four assists to two turnovers.

Trier had 12 points already with 7:32 left in the first half, but the rest of the Wildcats\u2019 offense was struggling at that point \u2013 and UCLA hit two straight threes after making just one of their first seven.

The UCLA 3s gave them leads to 24-19 (on one by Ball) and 29-22 (by Bryce Alford), though Trier had a three-point play cut UCLA\u2019s lead to 29-24.

Alford hit a 25-foot bomb with 6:49 left that put UCLA ahead 32-25 and then Ball blocked a shot under the basket from Lauri Markkanen, who later hit a 10-foot fadeaway to make it 32-27 with six minutes to go.

Arizona guard Kadeem Allen picked up his third foul with 4:20 to go when he swiped UCLA's Bryce Alford beyond the 3-point arc.

UA coach Sean Miller, who said Thursday he would tweak his lineup to whatever he felt would give the Wildcats the best chance to start well, went with Rawle Alkins and Trier on the wings, leaving Allen alone at point guard while Jackson-Cartwright and Kobi Simmons came off the bench.

UA has a number of key recruits watching the game including 2017 five-star talents Brian Bowen of Michigan and Trevon Duval of Delaware. Duval is taking an official visit to UA while Bowen is visiting unofficially (unpaid) because he has already taken an official visit to Tucson.

The game is Senior Day for Allen, who is the Wildcats\u2019 only senior this season but unlikely to be the only Wildcat playing his final home game. Markkanen, Trier and Kobi Simmons are listed in a mock 2017 NBA Draft by Draft Express, which typically doesn\u2019t project underclassmen in the draft unless they are believed to be leaving.

But because of foul trouble, Allen played only 10 minutes in the first half, with five points, one rebound and no assists.

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Tyler Corrington is back in the saddle again. Quite literally.

Sidelined in August 2015 with a broken leg, he was out for months, stewing, marinating, frustrating, waiting.

Used to life at eight seconds a go, he was instead staring at days, weeks, months. Chunks of time, rather than flashes.

It took until January to get his mojo back \u2014 had some luck in Odessa, won a round in Denver \u2014 and, he said, \u201cThe lightbulb clicked on, I can do this.\u201d

Saturday at La Fiesta de los Vaqueros Tucson Rodeo was just another reminder.

He scored an 84-point ride atop Sooner Nation to slide into second place in saddle bronc riding heading into Sunday\u2019s finals, a big payday coming and more importantly, a boost to his confidence.

\u201cIt\u2019s huge \u2014 I\u2019m married now, so the money means a little more, and it\u2019s just like anything \u2014 it\u2019s overcoming obstacles,\u201d he said. \u201cYou get to doubting yourself and then you bear down and say I can do this again. A winning streak always gets your confidence going; you feel good about what you\u2019re doing and next time you\u2019re on a horse you feel a little better.\u201d

Corrington is used to this kind of feeling. A three-time National Finals Rodeo qualifier and a former PRCA saddle bronc rookie of the year (2006), Corrington is no stranger to success, particularly not in Tucson.

He said it was his ride in Tucson in 2011 that helped carry him through the year, as he won the whole thing and then continued all the way to the NFR.

\u201cThat kind of kick-started my career,\u201d he said. \u201cIt gave me the confidence to continue on through that year. It\u2019s a hard rodeo to work because it\u2019s out here by itself, but you\u2019re outside for the first time of the year, pay\u2019s great, horses are good.\u201d

After what he describes as a \u201crebuilding year,\u201d Corrington is now just starting to feel like his leg is going to be fine. No small feat in the world of rodeo.

\u201cA lot of it depends on time of year. A small injury in January, you\u2019ve got a couple months to heal up. If you do it in the fall and come back in the winter \u2014 you almost make it a crunch time. I came back at Houston and didn\u2019t have the right mindset. It took me a little longer probably than a lot of guys.\u201d

But the struggle is worth it, to have one more shot at the top of the mountain.

Corrington followed in the footsteps \u2014 bootsteps? \u2014 of his father, Doug, a champion on the Great Lakes Circuit.

With three NFR appearances under his belt, he just wants one more chance to take home a title.

Saturday went a long way toward that goal.

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GLENDALE \u2014 The Salpointe Catholic boys basketball team found out why Phoenix Shadow Mountain was undefeated this year.

The Matadors defeated Salpointe 81-48 on Saturday in a wire-to-wire victory to win the Class 4A state championship at Gila River Arena.

The Matadors won their second straight state championship, with last year\u2019s victory coming in the previous AIA setup which utilized divisions.

Salpointe (23-10) started out nearly neck-in-neck with Shadow Mountain (27-0) for the majority of the first quarter, as the Lancers slowed play down and looked to execute in the half court.

The game changed once Salpointe turnovers led to several fast-break points near the end of the first quarter. In all, Salpointe ended the game with 22 turnovers and Shadow Mountain scored 23 points off those mistakes.

\u201cThere were a lot of physical mistakes,\u201d Salpointe head coach Brian Holstrom said. \u201cPhysical mistakes turned into quick points and quick points turned into big runs for (Shadow Mountain).\u201d

Salpointe senior guard Cameron Miller paced the Lancers, with seven of his team-high 19 points coming in the opening quarter.

Play began to get physical at the end of the first quarter and Shadow Mountain head coach and former Arizona Wildcat Mike Bibby was given a technical after arguing foul calls.

Referees called play considerably tight in the first half, with 25 personal fouls being called over the opening 16 minutes.

Both teams were in the bonus before the end of the first quarter.

Shadow Mountain started the second quarter by increasing on ball defensive pressure and forced several more Salpointe turnovers, en route to an 18-4 run over the first three minutes of the second quarter.

The Matadors used that run to firmly secure control of the game and take a 44-26 lead into halftime.

Sophomore guard Jaelen House and senior guard Marcus Shaver spearheaded that run with their defensive pressure and shooting from deep. Shaver ended with six three-pointers and a game-high 29 points, while House finished with 19 points in 17 minutes before being ejected.

From the onset, players from both teams were noticeably jawing with each other, and the back-and-forth reached a tipping point late in the third quarter.

With time running down in the quarter, Salpointe senior guard Isaac Cruz drove to the basket and, after seemingly blocking Cruz\u2019s shot, House was called for a foul.

Cruz took offense to what House had to say after the foul and players from both teams were involved in a brief scrum with seven seconds left in the third quarter.

Both Cruz and House were ejected as a result.

From that point on both coaches emptied their bench as, due to Shadow Mountain\u2019s big lead, the clock ran for the majority of the fourth quarter.

\u201cWe\u2019ll get over this soon,\u201d Holstrom said. \u201cBack to the big picture where we had a heck of a season and we got to a place few teams get to go to. I\u2019m just so happy for the seniors that they got to have this ride \u2026 I\u2019ve got no regrets.\u201d

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Sunday, Arizona women\u2019s basketball player LaBrittney Jones will lace up her shoes and put on her jersey the same way she has done it for the past four seasons.

It\u2019s been the same routine for 112 games, nothing new.

The only difference this time is that Jones will step onto the court at McKale Center for the last time, for the Senior Day game at 2 p.m. against USC.

\u201cIt will be bittersweet,\u201d said Jones, who is averaging 15.2 points per game on 44-percent shooting. \u201cThinking back to my first day at McKale it\u2019s gone by really fast. It\u2019s my last time at McKale \u2014 I don\u2019t believe it\u2019s about to be over. I hope I\u2019m not emotional. I don\u2019t want to cry \u2014 I am a little soft.\u201d

It may be a little late for that. Jones tweeted this Friday afternoon before a loss to UCLA: \u201cLast weekend playing in McKale!\u201d

The tweet included about 10 different emojis ranging from happy to sad to various stages of crying.

Expect those emotions to be flowing when the five seniors \u2014 Jones, Malena Washington, Breanna Workman, Dejza James, and Lauren Evans \u2014 are celebrated after the game.

However, Jones is not finishing just any playing career, she is rewriting the UA record books and will walk out as one of the best Arizona women\u2019s basketball players ever.

And don\u2019t let that ink dry yet \u2014 as she will be adding to her tallies and moving up on the career scoring, rebounds, and block lists in these last games.

Her numbers to date:

From the beginning of the season, when asked about these records and what it means to her, Jones has deflected it back on to helping her team win.

This time, with a little time to reflect, she was able to enjoy it just a bit, before turning back to the team.

\u201cIt never crossed my mind,\u201d said Jones, about finishing her career as one of the best to play at Arizona. \u201cIt\u2019s a good feeling that I\u2019ve made a name for myself. I didn\u2019t expect to be where we are \u2014 we\u2019ve won more games than in the past.

\u201cI knew we\u2019d be better, but didn\u2019t expect this.\u201d

On top of these numbers, Jones\u2019 style of play has had an impact on younger players, like sophomore Destiny Graham. In the middle of the season, Graham was called the most improved player by her teammates.

\u201c(Jones) helps me expand my basketball IQ,\u201d Graham said. \u201cPlaying with her has allowed me to speed up my learning \u2014 when to take shots, etc. She encourages players and tries to correct what we are doing wrong and says what to do next. It helps. And, it\u2019s always fun to watch her get aggressive. It gets me pumped.\u201d

And you can\u2019t forget that Jones is a leader on and off the court. It\u2019s how she prepares for games, how she rallies her teammates, and her resiliency. She never gives up and that is one of the biggest traits of this program.

\u201cShe\u2019s a fierce competitor and has that determination to be truly great at whatever she does,\u201d said UA assistant coach Kelly Rae Finley. \u201cShe\u2019s one of those people who drives those around her to be the best version of themselves, as well.

\u201cHaving coached against her the last three seasons, there was no doubt in my mind she would carry a load for us this season. Yet it is wonderful to see, as a coach, how she carries her team.

\u201cAnd, at times, when she has tough days, and we all have tough days, they carry her. No matter how difficult, don\u2019t give up. She\u2019s not going to let you quit or fail. Learning how to press on in failure is one of life\u2019s hardest lessons and one of its greatest. This group has moved beyond all of it this season and she\u2019s a large part of it.\u201d

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The Arizona Wildcats have found their next athletic director, announcing the hiring of Central Michigan's Dave Heeke.

Heeke replaces Greg Byrne, who is scheduled to start at Alabama this week. He comes to Arizona after 11 years as CMU's athletic director, and before that he spent 18 years in the Pac-12 as part of Oregon's athletic department, finishing his tenure there as senior associate athletics director/chief of staff.

\u201cI couldn\u2019t be more excited to be part of the Arizona Athletics family,\" Heeke said in a statement. \"It is truly an honor to be named the new Vice President for Athletics and have the opportunity to return to the prestigious Pac-12 Conference...

Heeke has no Arizona ties, but connects to two of the most popular names in Wildcats sports history. Heeke and former ADs \"Pop\" McKale and Cedric Dempsey are all graduates of Albion College in Michigan.

Dempsey, along with former UA deputy athletic director Kathleen \"Rocky\" LaRose, was hired shortly after Byrne's departure in January to help UA president Ann Weaver Hart in the search for a new athletic director.\u00a0

According to the UA's press release, Dempsey and LaRose communicated with as many as 65 candidates for the job. At various points the Wildcats were thought to be considering a host people for the job, including TCU's Chris del Conte, South Florida's Mark Harlan, Houston's Hunter Yurachek and Kansas State's John Currie.

Since Byrne's departure, senior associate athletic director Erika Barnes had assumed the position in an interim capacity, but Barnes did not pursue the full-time position.\u00a0

Going forward, LaRose will oversee the department's transition to the new athletic director.\u00a0

The hiring of Heeke received a stamp of approval from Byrne, who said in Arizona's press release that Heeke was an \"outstanding hire.\"

\"His vast experience working with student-athletes, coaches, staff, fans and university communities at CMU and in the Pac-12 makes Dave the perfect selection,\" Byrne said.\u00a0

Heeke called Arizona one of the \"premiere athletic departments in the country.

\"Arizona has developed a storied history and tradition and I\u2019m looking forward to being a part of the next chapter in Tucson. I can\u2019t wait to Bear Down.\"

At Central Michigan, Heeke spearheaded fundraising for $22 million in renovations to CMU's basketball arena and fitness center. He also oversaw the planning and design of a $6 million lacrosse and soccer stadium, as well as $10 million in renovations for other facilities, including baseball, gymnastics and softball.

Hart cited Heeke's experience and his \"sustained level of accomplishment\" as reasons for his hiring.\u00a0

\"Dave is a perfect match for our Wildcat family,\" Hart said.\u00a0

Byrne often talked about the need for some changes around Arizona's athletic department, including renovations at Arizona Stadium and UA softball's Hillenbrand Stadium and for the modernization of Drachman Stadium (track) and the Hillenbrand Aquatic Center (swimming).

UA football coach Rich Rodriguez has long pushed for an indoor practice facility, too. Rodriguez's future will be one to watch with a new athletic director in tow, as the UA coach was hired by Byrne and the Wildcats are coming off a troubling 3-9 season.

Click on the attached stories for more about Arizona's search.

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Arizona officially hired Theron Aych as its wide receivers coach Saturday.

The former receivers coach at UTEP was on campus last week and, given Saturday\u2019s announcement, should be on the field for next week\u2019s practices.

The Wildcats are schedule to practice Monday, Wednesday and Thursday. The latter is the team\u2019s \u201cSpring Showcase,\u201d which is open to the public. The event is scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. at Arizona Stadium.

Arizona coach Rich Rodriguez said Friday that he plans to fill the remaining on-field assistant opening with a full-time special-teams coach, whom he expects to hire within the next two weeks.

Aych spent only one season at UTEP. Before that, he was the offensive coordinator at Angelo State in San Angelo, Texas. In 2015, when the Rams led Division II in total offense, Aych was a finalist for the Division II American Football Coach Association Assistant Coach of the Year award.

At Central Missouri, one of Aych\u2019s previous stops, he coached Delanie Walker, the star tight end of the Tennessee Titans.

To read the official UA release on Aych\u2019s hiring, click here.

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TEMPE \u2014 \u201cKing!\u201d a teammate shouts from across Tempe High School\u2019s crowded weight room.

My-King Johnson, an imposing figure even in a room full of football players, looks up mid-push-up, and responds to the summons to the coach\u2019s office. He glides across the room in seconds, then slides into a chair in coach Brian Walker\u2019s office. The chair stresses to contain his 6-foot-4-inch, 225-pound frame.

Johnson leans back, breathes and smiles. It\u2019s been a couple weeks since Johnson signed a national letter of intent to play at the University of Arizona, and he says he\u2019s \u201cstill excited to be a Wildcat.\u201d

The UA is happy to have him too \u2014 after all, the senior defensive end has the potential to make an impact on the team the moment he arrives. Johnson\u2019s physical ability and potential attracted attention and offers from college football\u2019s blue-blood programs. He verbally committed to UCLA before flipping to Arizona.

Johnson talks about football, family and his future.

Also this: He is set to become the first active openly gay scholarship player in major-college football history.

When Johnson told UA assistant Vince Amey about his sexuality while being recruited, the coach\u2019s reaction \u2014 \u201cWe want you to be a Wildcat\u201d \u2014 was exactly what he wanted to hear.

Now, the 17-year-old is an unintentional trailblazer.

\u201cI do feel like when I say that, it can put a target on my back,\u201d Johnson said about being open about his sexuality.

\u201cBut whatever.\u201d

An \u201cold soul\u201d

Nadette Lewis is ecstatic that her only son has a full-ride college scholarship.

\u201cWhere I grew up, I didn\u2019t have any kind of opportunities,\u201d she said. \u201cNobody told me about these things, and I grew up in the \u2019hood, where nobody went to school.\u201d

Lewis attended South Mountain High School in the mid-1990s. She put her athleticism to good use, playing both basketball and volleyball, all while navigating one of Phoenix\u2019s most gang-infested neighborhoods.

Less than two years into high school, her athletic career ended.

\u201cI was pregnant,\u201d Lewis said, \u201cso I didn\u2019t get to play too much sports.\u201d

At age 16, Lewis had her first of three daughters, Lonnie.

When Lewis had her son three years later, his father wanted to name him My-King. A few years later, they named his sister A-Queen. The youngest sibling is 10 years old and named Nadette.

Neither mom nor son say they know the reason for his unusual name. Johnson\u2019s father has been in and out of jail since his son was born. The two are not close.

Lewis juggled two, and sometimes three jobs to keep herself and her family afloat, she says, \u201cto make sure we weren\u2019t on welfare, that we weren\u2019t a statistic.\u201d

Two years ago, Lewis moved to Seattle. She gave her son the option of staying in Tempe with his grandmother as long as he kept his grades up and focused on his future. So Johnson carries a 3.8 GPA.

Johnson has always been smart and quick-witted; his mom calls him an \u201cold soul\u201d with a maturity beyond his years. Johnson played tuba in the Tempe High School band for two years, performing at halftime while wearing his football jersey and cleats. Johnson loves music \u2014 for a time, he considered quitting football to focus on his other passion.

Walker convinced him otherwise.

\u201cI knew athleticism was in his family, and he\u2019s got all the tools,\u201d Walker said. \u201cHe\u2019s always had a work ethic. You couple that, along with his frame, and the sky\u2019s the limit.\u201d

Coming out

Johnson was 12 years old when he came out to his friends and family.

He barely remembers how he did it, just that he recalled it being difficult. He called family and friends, and told others in person. He saved his mom for last.

Johnson told her during a trip to the grocery store.

Her response?

\u201cI love you for who you are as a person,\u201d Lewis told him. \u201cSexuality? It doesn\u2019t matter. \u2026 That\u2019s how I teach my children. Love who you are no matter what you are, or what you look like. You have to love yourself. If you love yourself first, then everybody else will respect that and have no choice but to love you.\u201d

Being gay, Johnson says, is simply a part of who he is.

\u201cI\u2019m a very honest person,\u201d he said. \u201cI just don\u2019t see how I could be living an honest, truthful life and have that in the background.\u201d

By the time Johnson arrived at Tempe and went out for the football team, he already knew most of his teammates from playing middle school football together.

And they knew him \u2014 Johnson was, and is, open about his sexuality.

Teammate and friend Alfonso Arispe calls Johnson\u2019s honesty \u201ccool.\u201d

\u201cI love how open he is,\u201d Arispe said. \u201cHe doesn\u2019t care because he\u2019s focused on what he\u2019s doing, and he\u2019s focused on himself. Clearly, it shouldn\u2019t affect anyone else, but no matter what, he doesn\u2019t care about that. It doesn\u2019t bother him one bit.\u201d

A welcoming coach

When Amey played college football and in the NFL, the idea of a teammate coming out of the closet was taboo.

That\u2019s starting to change. Esera Tuaolo came out in 2002 after an eight-year NFL career. Missouri\u2019s Michael Sam came out as he prepared for the 2014 NFL Draft. Arizona State offensive lineman Chip Sarafin, a walk-on, told his teammates he was gay later that year. Princeton\u2019s Mason Darrow did the same in 2015.

Those handful of names are it.

\u201cIt is going to, until many generations die off, it is still going to be a stereotype, that gay men are weak and can\u2019t play sports and can\u2019t play big, tough sports like football,\u201d said Cyd Zeigler, the co-founder of OutSports.com. \u201cEven with defensive ends like Esera Tuaolo and Michael Sam \u2014 big, strong, masculine men \u2014 coming out, we still have the stereotype. \u2026 (Johnson) will chip away at that, but that takes generations to go away.\u201d

Amey lights up when he talks about Johnson, mostly because he believes he can be an impact player. But the idea that Johnson will be a pioneer in being an openly gay athlete also has the coach \u201cpretty excited.\u201d

\u201cWhen I found out, I really couldn\u2019t sleep,\u201d Amey said. \u201cAnd it wasn\u2019t like I was uncomfortable with it. I was just like, all right, it\u2019s different, it\u2019s new. \u2026 I said, \u2018Look, you are who you are, I am who I am, and I\u2019m going to coach you the same way. I\u2019m going to treat you the same way. I\u2019m going to get on you the same way as everybody else. There\u2019s no difference. You do what you do.\u2019 I said, \u2018When the players find out, especially my room, I\u2019m going to tell (those) dudes: \u2018Look, you gotta have his back.\u2019\u201d

Amey\u2019s enthusiasm for Johnson joining the team isn\u2019t surprising. Arizona was the first college to offer Johnson a scholarship, and Amey \u2014 the former Arizona State standout turned Wildcats assistant \u2014 led the recruiting effort.

Amey gave Johnson his space when USC, UCLA, Oregon, Texas A&M, and Arizona State showed interest. But the UA coach let Johnson know that he was there for him.

Arizona reappeared after Johnson and UCLA parted ways just before signing day. He flipped to the Wildcats soon after.

The Wildcats need him. Johnson amassed 22 sacks as a junior, including 6\u00bd in one late-season game against Seton Catholic. He added 21\u00bd more sacks, 19 tackles for loss and three forced fumbles as a senior.

The scouting report on Johnson: he\u2019s big, he\u2019s strong, he\u2019s fast, he\u2019s physical. More than anything, though, it\u2019s his motor that sticks out. The kid never gives up on a play. His highlight reel is filled with plays where an offensive lineman brings him down, or shoves him to the side, and Johnson emerges to make a play.

Johnson\u2019s Tempe team traveled to Tucson in August for a game against Catalina Foothills. Tempe was defeated quite handily \u2014 final score: 35-7 \u2014 but the Falcons had trouble containing Johnson, who sacked the quarterback three times and hurried him twice.

That quarterback? Rhett Rodriguez, an Arizona signee and the son of UA coach Rich Rodriguez.

On one hit, Johnson sped around an overmatched defender and floored Rodriguez\u2019s blind side. The force of the hit knocked the ball out of Rodriguez\u2019s hands before he could throw it, and it took him a few seconds to stand up and gather himself for the next play.

\u201cI play football,\u201d Arispe said, \u201cbut he\u2019s a football player.\u201d

Johnson will fit in nicely on the Wildcats\u2019 revamped defense, Amey said. Amey likes to talk about the underdogs and overlooked athletes who fill his defensive line room.

\u201cIt\u2019s no different than (nose tackle) Parker Zellers: OK, he\u2019s only 5-10, 240, but he\u2019s a football player,\u201d Amey said. \u201cEverybody\u2019s got their own background. Who they are, what they are. \u2026 I\u2019m fine with it, and honestly I can\u2019t wait to get him here and get it going.\u201d

Amey has reason to be excited. Those kids of are a rarity. Rarer still are the ones that choose Arizona.

\u201cI can\u2019t wait to be like, \u2018Yeah, I got to coach the first openly gay kid to be an All-Pac-12 defensive end,\u2019 \u201d he said.

mother-and-son bond

It\u2019s Wednesday, and Johnson\u2019s track and field practice is starting. He finishes his workout and darts outside.

In Seattle, his mom is finishing up her shift as a nurse. As always, Lewis is thinking about her son and what his future holds.

Mother and son speak every day. She worries about him. She worries how he will be treated.

Lewis wondered how he would be welcomed in a high school football locker room. Tempe\u2019s players accepted Johnson, but that\u2019s no guarantee that things will be the same in college. Factor in opposing fans, message boards and the spotlight that comes with making history, and Johnson could face a hard road.

\u201cIt\u2019s hard enough being a black kid in America,\u201d Lewis says. \u201cThen I worry about him being a football jock, then I worry about him being gay because it\u2019s still not so accepted. Everybody perceives him as a dumb jock because he is a football star, which he\u2019s not, but then you\u2019re gay and a football player? That\u2019s not heard of yet, and maybe it\u2019s still not accepted in the football world.\u201d

The support Johnson has received doesn\u2019t surprise Zeigler, the co-founder of OutSports.com.

\u201cUnfortunately, we continue to talk about it in sports as if gay athletes should be afraid. We perpetuate that fear,\u201d he said. \u201cThe reality is, when LGBT athletes come out, it is the rare exception that it is not accepted by their teammates. So his experience, whether he came out at 12 or 20, it\u2019s going to be pretty much the same thing.\u201d

Johnson says he\u2019s ready for whatever comes.

When he was a baby, a doctor heard his name and his eyes widened.

\u201cThat\u2019s one hell of a name for a guy to have to live up to,\u201d the doctor told Lewis.

\u201cHe\u2019s done an excellent job living up to his name,\u201d his mother says.

Johnson is aware of the expectations his name carries.

\u201cMy name definitely motivates me,\u201d Johnson said.

\u201cWhen someone\u2019s looking down at a roster, or they\u2019re looking at a page, they\u2019re going to say \u2026 let me see what he\u2019s about.\u201d

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Maybe the Zona Zoo can take some heart in the fact that Jay Williams was partly wrong the last time.

In GameDay's 2015 appearance at McKale Center, Williams revealed a T-shirt that said \"#Bear Down 4 Indy,\" and while UA beat UCLA later that day, the Wildcats never made it to the Final Four in Indianapolis. On Saturday, he teased the student section about that moment and asked if they should \"Bear Down for Phoenix.\"

Then he ripped off his dress shirt to reveal a UCLA jersey and said \"Nope.\"

Jay Williams gets teepeed for picking UCLA pic.twitter.com/SbjHC67XFV

\u2014 Bruce Pascoe (@BrucePascoe) February 25, 2017

(Staffers had provided the Zona Zoo with the toilet paper beforehand \"in case\" Williams picked UCLA).


Williams' pick wrapped up the third basketball GameDay held at McKale, which also featured Lauri Markkanen winning one of its Oscar-style \"awards\" - his was for \"best foreign film\" and the Finnish freshman beat out Gonzaga's Przemek Karnowski (Poland) and Iowa's Peter Jok (Sudan).

Markkanen appeared on a pretaped video to offer thanks. (For the second straight time, no UA players or coaches showed up at GameDay, though they did in 2011-12).

Other \"awards:\" Oregon's Dillon Brooks won for Best Visual Performance (a.k.a. flopping), Siena coach Jimmy Patsos won for Best Animated Feature (for his \"air handshakes\" after Rider skipped the postgame handshake line), and Kansas' Frank Mason won for Best Actor in a Leading Role (this drew cheers from the Zona Zoo, who had roundly booed Lonzo Ball's nomination).


The show also featured a great video from Cleveland of the four Cavaliers with alumni ties to today's UA-UCLA game.

Richard Jefferson, still rocking his Kyrie Irving-inspired \"Flat World Champions\" T-shirt, teased Kevin Love about UCLA's good players while Derrick Williams and Channing Frye joined in.

\"You have Lonzo Ball. You have Lonzo Ball. And you have Lonzo Ball,\" Jefferson said.

Cavs teammates now. College rivals forever.

UCLA-Arizona in a top-5 clash on ESPN tonight: Who ya got? pic.twitter.com/fLJLLSV3p5

\u2014 ESPN (@espn) February 25, 2017

A clip of the Arizona baseball parody of \"Major League\" was also shown during GameDay show.

Among other discussions held by the crew: Rick Pitino's interaction with a fan, Josh Hart being an Eagle Scout and whether Northwestern needs to worry about making its first-ever NCAA Tournament appearance (Bilas said no).


Among the signs waved in the Zona Zoo:

\"LaVar Ball is Crazier than Bill Walton.\"

\"Daddy Issues (with Ball mugshot)\"

\"Pay my tuition please: 505-801-8045\"

\"I need money for the Pac-12 Tournament\"

\"Lonzo Ball pours his milk before his cereal\"

\"UCLA #5 Fake News.\"

And:\u00a0\"Fire Goodell\"

Big heads waved included several UA players plus Erika Barnes, Bill Walton and Steve Kerr.


We had a live blog of the GameDay filming.


USA Today calls the UA-UCLA game the \"game of the weekend.\"


The Bruins could use a win to convince the NCAA selection committee of a better seed.


Arizona is between a 1.5-2.0-point favorite, according to VegasInsider.


After the UA-UCLA game at 6:15 p.m., ESPN will show Gonzaga trying to complete a perfect regular season against BYU starting at 8:15.


UA-signee-turned-Aussie-pro Terrance Ferguson finished his season\u00a0Down Under\u00a0averaging 4.6 points and 1.1 rebounds, but he's still projected as a first-round pick in the June NBA Draft (so are three players in today's UA-UCLA game).

"}, {"id":"1c0eaf88-faf1-11e6-a831-03b912546f4b","type":"link","starttime":"1488034800","starttime_iso8601":"2017-02-25T08:00:00-07:00","lastupdated":"1488051824","priority":49,"sections":[{"basketball":"sports/arizonawildcats/basketball"}],"flags":{"top_story":"true","editors_pick":"true"},"application":"editorial","title":"Live blog rewind: Arizona Wildcats host ESPN's 'College GameDay'","permalink":"http://live.azstarnet.com/Event/Live_blog_Arizona_Wildcats_host_ESPNs_College_GameDay","canonical":"http://live.azstarnet.com/Event/Live_blog_Arizona_Wildcats_host_ESPNs_College_GameDay","relatedAssetCounts":{"article":0,"audio":0,"image":1,"link":0,"vmix":0,"youtube":0,"gallery":0},"prologue":"Get a recap of updates from Star staffers during ESPN's broadcast of \"College GameDay,\" from McKale Center. \u00a0\u00a0","supportsComments":true,"commentCount":0,"keywords":[],"internalKeywords":["#latest","#editorspick"],"customProperties":{"label":"LIVE BLOG"},"presentation":null,"images":[{"id":"4da24d36-ba0f-11e4-973f-8fd5165af762","description":"The ESPN College GameDay live broadcast in McKale Center.","byline":"Mike Christy / Arizona Daily Star","hireswidth":3000,"hiresheight":1775,"hiresurl":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/4/da/4da24d36-ba0f-11e4-973f-8fd5165af762/54e8f659c1b7f.hires.jpg","presentation":null,"versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"620","height":"367","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/4/da/4da24d36-ba0f-11e4-973f-8fd5165af762/54e8f659bed2a.image.jpg?resize=620%2C367"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"59","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/4/da/4da24d36-ba0f-11e4-973f-8fd5165af762/54e8f659bed2a.image.jpg?resize=100%2C59"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"178","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/4/da/4da24d36-ba0f-11e4-973f-8fd5165af762/54e8f659bed2a.image.jpg?resize=300%2C178"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"606","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/4/da/4da24d36-ba0f-11e4-973f-8fd5165af762/54e8f659bed2a.image.jpg?resize=1024%2C606"}}}],"revision":8,"url":"http://live.azstarnet.com/Event/Live_blog_Arizona_Wildcats_host_ESPNs_College_GameDay"}, {"id":"c26c6eec-fb05-11e6-87c5-876196f6126d","type":"link","starttime":"1488033000","starttime_iso8601":"2017-02-25T07:30:00-07:00","lastupdated":"1488070526","priority":44,"sections":[{"basketball":"sports/arizonawildcats/basketball"}],"flags":{"top_story":"true","editors_pick":"true"},"application":"editorial","title":"Scouting report: No. 4 Arizona Wildcats vs. No. 5 UCLA Bruins","permalink":"http://tucson.com/sports/arizonawildcats/scouting-report-no-arizona-wildcats-vs-no-ucla-bruins/collection_b345d5ba-fae8-11e6-be6c-bb101d134942.html","canonical":"http://tucson.com/sports/arizonawildcats/scouting-report-no-arizona-wildcats-vs-no-ucla-bruins/collection_b345d5ba-fae8-11e6-be6c-bb101d134942.html","relatedAssetCounts":{"article":0,"audio":0,"image":1,"link":0,"vmix":0,"youtube":0,"gallery":0},"prologue":"Prepare for Arizona's game against UCLA on Saturday with Bruce Pascoe's in-depth scouting report.\u00a0","supportsComments":true,"commentCount":0,"keywords":[],"internalKeywords":["#latest","#editorspick","#topread"],"customProperties":{"label":"UA HOOPS"},"presentation":null,"images":[{"id":"a18082a0-fae6-11e6-a7db-bb29b4716f18","description":"Arizona center Chance Comanche (21) takes a short-range jumper against USC in the first half of their Pac-12 game at McKale Center, Thursday, Feb. 23, 2017, Tucson, Ariz. 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The Tucson Roadrunners returned home Friday following a 27-day road trip that took the club to Glendale; Cedar Park, Texas; and San Diego.

Awaiting the Roadrunners at TCC Arena were the hottest team in the American Hockey League \u2014 the San Jose Barracuda.

Despite a strong offensive outing, the Roadrunners couldn\u2019t knock off the streaking Barracuda before falling 4-3.

\u201cIt\u2019s been a month since we played here, and you can feel that we\u2019ve created that home atmosphere and advantage,\u201d Roadrunners head coach Mark Lamb said. \u201cWe feel comfortable here and it\u2019s too bad we had to be away for so long.\"

The Roadrunners fell behind 1-0 early as San Jose\u2019s Buddy Robinson got on the board with 13:32 to go in the first period.

In the subsequent puck-drop, Tucson\u2019s Stefan Fournier initiated a fight with a Barracuda player. He was immediately ejected from the game.

A shorthanded goal by Tucson\u2019s Laurent Dauphin with 10 seconds to go in the first period tied the score at 1-1.

A similar story repeated itself in the second period, as San Jose took a 2-1 five minutes in. With 1.7 seconds left on the clock, Dauphin again came through with an equalizer.

Tucson (22-20-5-0) gained the lead early in the third period when Christian Fischer scored a breakaway goal with 18:36 to go.

That goal was quickly answered by a San Jose score from Rourke Chartier.

Then, with 8:16 remaining, the Barracuda took the lead for good on a goal by Marcus Sorenson.

\u201cThere were a lot of good elements to our game and we\u2019ve just got to stick with it,\u201d Lamb said. \u201cWe\u2019re a good hockey team and we\u2019ve got to stick with it.\u201d

Merek Langhamer started in goal for the Roadrunners and saved 23 of 27 shots.

The defeat marks the latest low point in a grueling stretch for the Roadrunners, who have gone 2-12 dating back to Jan. 21.

In that same stretch, the division-leading Barracuda have gone 13-0. The Barracuda improved to 32-11-1-3.

Slap shots

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Friday night was a game of second chances at McKale Center.

Unfortunately for the Arizona women\u2019s basketball team, the Wildcats weren\u2019t on the receiving end.

The 15th-ranked UCLA Bruins converted on 22 second-chance shots and grabbed 45 rebounds on the way to a 79-56 win at McKale Center.

\u201cWe weren\u2019t aggressive at first, we were intimated by their height,\u201d said senior Dejza James, who played 28 minutes, scored 11 points and grabbed five rebounds.

Added senior LaBrittney Jones: \u201cThey are a bigger team and we had to do a better job boxing out.\u201d

Jones led all scorers with 26 points and seven rebounds. She moved within five points of tying Aimee Grzyb (who played from 2001-04) with 1,227 points for 12th on the UA career scoring list.

\u201cI\u2019ll take it,\u201d Jones said of her scoring effort. \u201cBut I would like a closer, better and more competitive game from us. We didn\u2019t really execute tonight.\u201d

It was also a case of a few hot hands, as UCLA\u2019s Jordin Canada and Nicole Kornet each scored 21 points.

While UA was down only by three at the end of the first quarter and held the Bruins to only 33 percent shooting from the floor, it seemed like they were down by more.

\u201cWe never could get anything going,\u201d Arizona coach Adia Barnes said. \u201cI looked up and we were only down by three or four and it felt like 20. I don\u2019t know why things never got going.

\u201cIt\u2019s hard to play against a zone that long. We should have rebounded, but it\u2019s hard to box out in the zone, so it was one and done. We never had an answer.\u201d

In that first quarter as the Bruins\u2019 shots weren\u2019t falling, they had open looks and there was a sense that one of the top teams in the Pac-12 would break loose at some point. And, they did.

Kornet hit her first three pointer (she finished with three) with 3:40 left in the second quarter. Kari Korver followed with a three, and just like that the Bruins were up 31-18.

They went into the half with a 36-23 lead.

While the Wildcats kept fighting until the buzzer, Barnes was not happy with their overall effort. UCLA improved to 21-7 overall and 12-5 in Pac-12 play. The Wildcats fell to 13-15 and 4-13. Arizona will wrap up its regular season Sunday with a game against USC.

\u201cAt half time we talked about strategy, attitude and work ethic,\u201d said Barnes. \u201cWe weren\u2019t playing hard; that\u2019s not my style. I can\u2019t live with that. It is not the identity of this Arizona basketball program.

\u201cTonight, no one took the initiative to get the team rallied and find a way to fix it. I expect hustle, diving after balls. Without the little things, you don\u2019t win games, you don\u2019t beat No. 15 at home.\u201d

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TV SATURDAY

Auto racing NASCAR Xfinity race 1:30 p.m. FS1

Golf European Tour, third round 3:30 a.m. Golf

PGA Tour, third round 11 a.m. Golf

PGA Tour, third round 1 p.m. Ch 4

LPGA Tour, final round 10:30 p.m. Golf

Gymnastics UCLA at Arizona 2 p.m. Pac-12A

NBA Hornets at Kings 3 p.m. NBA

Bulls at Cavaliers 6:30 p.m. Ch 9

NCAA basketball SMU at Connecticut 10 a.m. Ch 13

Navy at Bucknell 10 a.m. CBSS

Virginia at NC State 10 a.m. ESPN

Wichita State at Missouri State 10 a.m. ESPN2

Tulane at Temple 10 a.m. ESPNU

Georgetown at St. John\u2019s 10 a.m. FSAZ

Tennessee at South Carolina 11 a.m. SEC

Florida at Kentucky Noon Ch 13

Illinois State at Northern Iowa Noon CBSS

West Virginia at TCU Noon ESPN

VCU at Rhode Island Noon ESPN2

Texas Tech at Oklahoma State Noon ESPNU

Seton Hall at DePaul Noon FSAZ

Richmond at Fordham 12:30 p.m. NBCS

Creighton at Villanova 1 p.m. Ch 11

Missouri at Mississippi 1:30 p.m. SEC

Duke at Miami 2 p.m. Ch 13

Marquette at Providence 2 p.m. CBSS

Baylor at Iowa State 2 p.m. ESPN

Purdue at Michigan 2 p.m. ESPN2

Mississippi State at Vanderbilt 2 p.m. ESPNU

Oregon at Stanford 2 p.m. Pac-12N

St. Joseph\u2019s at Saint Louis 2:30 p.m. NBCS

Nevada at UNLV 4 p.m. CBSS

Kansas at Texas 4 p.m. ESPN

Iowa at Maryland 4 p.m. ESPN2

Kansas State at Oklahoma 4 p.m. ESPNU

LSU at Georgia 4 p.m. SEC

Northwestern at Indiana 6 p.m. BTN

San Diego State at Colorado State 6 p.m. CBSS

Alabama at Texas A&M 6 p.m. ESPN2

Long Beach State at UC Davis 6 p.m. ESPNU

UCLA at Arizona 6:15 p.m. ESPN

Arkansas at Auburn 6:30 p.m. SEC

BYU at Gonzaga 8 p.m. ESPN2

NHL Flyers at Penguins 6 p.m. Ch 4

Soccer Bund.: Bayern Munich vs. Hamburg SV 7:20 a.m. FS2

EPL: Middlesbrough at Crystal Palace 8 a.m. CNBC

EPL: Swansea City at Chelsea 8 a.m. NBCS

Bund.: Hertha BSC vs. Eintracht Frankfurt 10:20 a.m. FS2

EPL: West Ham at Watford 10:30 a.m. Ch 4

Swimming Pac-12 Women\u2019s Championships 7:30 p.m. Pac-12A

Women\u2019s basketball Indiana at Illinois 11 a.m. BTN

Portland State at Northern Arizona 2 p.m. FSAZ

RADIO SATURDAY

Hockey San Jose at Tucson 7:05 p.m. 1450-AM

NCAA basketball Florida at Kentucky Noon 1490-AM*

Duke at Miami 2 p.m. 1490-AM*

UCLA at Arizona 6:15 p.m. 1290-AM

UCLA at Arizona 6:15 p.m. 107.5-FM

* 1490-AM is broadcast simultaneously on 104.9-FM

Channel guide: Ch 13 (Ch 7 on Comcast) BTN is Big Ten Network (Ch 320 on Cox, Ch 272 on Comcast, Ch 610 on DirecTV, Ch 439 on Dish) CBSS is CBS Sports Network (Ch 312 on Cox, Ch 274 on Comcast, Ch 221 on DirecTV, Ch 158 on Dish) CNBC (Ch 35 on Cox, Ch 27 on Comcast, Ch 355 on DirecTV, Ch 208 on Dish) ESPN (Ch 24 on Cox, Ch 2 on Comcast, Ch 206 on DirecTV, Ch 140 on Dish) ESPN2 (Ch 25 on Cox, Ch 30 on Comcast, Ch 209 on DirecTV, Ch 143 on Dish) ESPNU (Ch 330 on Cox, Ch 266 on Comcast, Ch 208 on DirecTV, Ch 141 on Dish) FS1 is Fox Sports 1 (Ch 27 on Cox, Ch 32 on Comcast, Ch 219 on DirecTV, Ch 150 on Dish) FS2 is Fox Sports 2 (Ch. 341 on Cox, not available on Comcast, Ch. 618 on DirecTV, Ch. 397 on Dish) FSAZ (Ch 26 on Cox, Ch 31 on Comcast, Ch 686 on DirecTV, Ch 415 on Dish) Golf (Ch 65 on Cox, Ch 28 on Comcast, Ch 218 on DirecTV, Ch 401 on Dish) NBA is NBA TV (Ch 308 on Cox, Ch 273 on Comcast, Ch 216 on DirecTV, Ch 156 on Dish) NBCS is NBC Sports Network (Ch 59 on Cox, Ch 29 on Comcast, Ch 220 on DirecTV, Ch 159 on Dish) Pac-12A is Pac-12 Arizona (Ch 75 on Cox, Ch 103 on Comcast, not available on DirecTV, Ch 409, Ch 406 on Dish Hopper) Pac-12N is Pac-12 Network (Ch 70 on Cox, Ch. 283 on Comcast, not available on DirecTV, Ch 409 on Dish, Ch 406 on Dish Hopper) SEC is SEC Network (Ch 329 on Cox, Ch 286 on Comcast, Ch 611 on DirecTV, Ch 408 on Dish)

"} ]