Arizona outlasts rival Arizona State
by Doug Haller, USA TODAY Sports
Mark Lyons, playing in his first Territorial Cup rivalry game, scored 24 points to lead Arizona to a 71-54 win over Arizona State on Saturday at Wells Fargo Arena.
In front of 10,900 fans, the transfer from Xavier took control, taking advantage of foul-plagued and out-manned Arizona State. Lyons, a 6-foot-1 guard, hit 8 of 15 shots and collected three assists and three steals.
The Wildcats improved to 16-1 and 4-1 in the Pac-12. ASU dropped its second in a row, falling to 14-4 and 3-2.
Sophomore guard Nick Johnson added 19 points for Arizona, while senior forward Solomon Hill added 13. The Wildcats, who led 29-26 at halftime, shot 46 percent in the second half.
ASU freshman point guard Jahii Carson put his stamp on his first rivalry game, scoring 22 points, but he had little help. Evan Gordon scored 14 points, but 11 came in the first half. ASU senior Carrick Felix, who had played so well the entire season, had his worst game. He struggled throughout, finishing with five points on 1 of 7 shooting. He had seven turnovers.
ASU had just five offensive rebounds and zero second-chance points.
The game turned on one play in the second half. After battling back from a nine-point deficit, ASU had the ball, trailing just 46-44. Carson drove the lane and tried to dish to a cutting Felix along the baseline. Felix, however, couldn’t handle the pass, resulting in a turnover.
On Arizona’s next possession, Lyons attacked the basket, drawing the fourth foul from Carson. His free throws sparked a 9-0 run, putting the Wildcats in control.
ASU coach Herb Sendek had no choice but to play Carson down the stretch. Back-up point guard and valuable sixth man Chris Colvin didn’t dress because of a violation of team rules. ASU, not a deep team to begin with, had few options and Carson had to play not to foul. Arizona took advantage.
It was your typical rivalry game, with a lot of emotion.
With 11:49 left in the first half, Arizona freshman Grant Jerrett fell to the court after getting fouled. Felix appeared to stand over the freshman. Solomon … [For more on No. 7 Arizona outlasts Arizona State in Pac-12 rivalry clash, click here.]