Tempe, AZ – Mark Lyons poured in 24 points on 8-of-15 shooting from the field to lead seventh-ranked Arizona to a 71-54 win over Arizona State Saturday at Wells Fargo Arena.
Nick Johnson added 19 points and Solomon Hill finished with 13 points, six rebounds and five assists for the Wildcats (16-1, 4-1 Pac-12), who will host No. 24 UCLA on Thursday.
"That was a hard earned road victory, and we knew that Arizona State had an excellent team. I felt that during the game. One of the reasons why we ended up winning like we did is, our defense really returned to us tonight," said Arizona head coach Sean Miller. "Sure they had some shots that they look at as they have to make, but for the most part I thought our defense fueled us."
Jahii Carson scored 22 points and Evan Gordon had 14 for the Sun Devils (14-4, 3-2), who have dropped two straight on the heels of a six-game winning streak.
"Obviously we're not a real deep team, but I don't know if fatigue was the reason why we didn't win today," said ASU head coach Herb Sendek. "Ideally, we'd like to be a little bit deeper at this point, but I don't know how significant it was in the whole scheme of things. Obviously they have excellent depth and do a great job of rotating their guys."
The teams exchanged baskets for most of the first half until Johnson's triple sparked a 9-2 run to put Arizona ahead 29-22 with just under two minutes to go. ASU, though, scored the final four points of the half.
The Wildcats opened the second half with a 15-9 surge to go up 44-35 with just over seven minutes played.
The Sun Devils countered with a 7-0 burst of its own to pull within 44-42, but Arizona opened up a 13-2 run to go up 57-44 with 6 1/2 minutes remaining.
ASU was able to cut the deficit to 59-50 one minute later, but it would be as close as it would get as Arizona coasted to its second straight win following a 70-66 setback to Oregon on Jan. 10.
This was the 223rd all-time meeting between the schools. Arizona holds a 143-80 advantage in the series ... The Wildcats forced 17 turnovers while limiting themselves to just nine giveaways.