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No. 12 Arizona Defeats Charleston Southern in Season Opener
Courtesy: Arizona Athletics
Release: 11/11/2012
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Courtesy: Arizona Athletics
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Nov. 11, 2012

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TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) - Mark Lyons scored 15 of his 17 points in the second half of his debut for Arizona and the 12th-ranked Wildcats escaped with an 82-73 season-opening victory over Charleston Southern on Sunday.

Wildcats seniors Mark Lyons, Solomon Hill and Kevin Parrom led the way in a late surge that finally put the game away.

Lyons, a transfer from Xavier, scored 15 of his 17 points in the second half. He also had six assists and no turnovers.

Arizona has one of the best groups of freshmen in the country, but coach Sean Miller leaned on his experience, even to the point of pushing Hill back to the power forward spot as the young Wildcats' front line struggled.

Hill scored 14, Brandon Ashley and Nick Johnson 12 apiece and Jordin Mayes 10 for the Wildcats. All of Mayes' points came in the first half.

"In a game like tonight, especially our season opener, you rely on your veterans," Arizona coach Sean Miller said. "Our veterans, whether it be Solomon or Kevin Parrom, Jordin Mayes in the first half, certainly Mark Lyons, Nick - the guys that have been through it before, they were more ready."

Arlon Harper scored 20 and Mathiang Muo 16 for Charleston Southern (0-2). Saah Nimley added 11 points and seven assists for the Buccaneers.

Charleston Southern trailed just 59-57 with eight minutes to play. Hill, on the bench much of the game with foul trouble, re-entered the game and sank a 3-pointer that put Arizona up 62-57 and the Wildcats slowly pulled away from there.

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