Tucson, AZ – Mark Lyons scored 17 points and dished out six assists to help the 12th-ranked Arizona Wildcats open the season with an 82-73 victory over Charleston Southern at McKale Center.
Solomon Hill supplied 14 points and five rebounds for Arizona (1-0), which got 12 points apiece from Nick Johnson and Brandon Ashley.
"Tonight, it was so much about defense. And we struggled against their offense," said Arizona coach Sean Miller.
Arlon Harper had a game-high 20 points for the Buccaneers (0-2), who opened their season with a 10-point loss at Charlotte on Friday.
Charleston Southern scored the game's first six points, and Paul Gombwer drained a 3-pointer to put the visitors up 15-7 a little more than five minutes after the opening tip.
The Wildcats continued to trail until a 10-0 run, capped by a Jordin Mayes trey, put them up 29-25 with about 4 1/2 minutes remaining. Down by three, Arizona closed out the half with the final seven points to head into the break with a 43-39 edge.
It remained a tight contest well into the second half, but consecutive threes by Hill and Lyons, a senior transfer from Xavier, made it 65-57 with 6 1/2 minutes left. Four minutes later, Lyons hit a layup to extend Arizona's lead to double figures at 77-66.
The outcome was never in doubt down the stretch.
Mayes scored 10 points and Ashley grabbed eight rebounds ...Mathiang Muo contributed 16 points for Charleston Southern. Saah Nimley added 11 points, eight boards and seven assists for the Buccaneers.