Friday, December 20, 2013
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Arizona 69, Southern 43

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[December 20, 2013]  TUCSON, Ariz. — No. 1 Arizona 69, Southern 43: Freshman forward Aaron Gordon scored a season-high 21 points to lead the host Wildcats to their 26th consecutive nonconference victory.

Nick Johnson scored 13 of his 17 points in the second half for Arizona (12-0), which entered the week ranked eighth in the nation in scoring defense at 59.1 points. Brandon Ashley finished with 11 points and 10 rebounds for his second double-double of the season for the Wildcats.

Malcolm Miller had 11 points and six rebounds to lead the starters for Southern (3-8), which shot 34 percent from the field. Calvin Godfrey scored all 11 of his points in the second half and fellow reserve Tre Lynch added 10 points for the Jaguars.

Arizona point guard T.J. McConnell had five of his six assists in the opening half as his penetration was the key to the Wildcats building a sizable lead. He assisted on three straight inside baskets by Gordon to give Arizona a 26-11 advantage with seven minutes remaining in the first half.

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Arizona’s lead was again 15 when Southern started the second half by scoring seven of the first nine points to trim the deficit to 10. That was as close as the Jaguars would get, as Gordon scored all his team’s points in an 8-2 run that gave the Wildcats a 44-28 lead with 13 1/2 minutes remaining.

GAME NOTEBOOK: Arizona played without starting center Kaleb Tarczewski, who suffered a sprained right ankle Saturday against Michigan. Freshman Rondae Hollis-Jefferson made his first career start and finished with eight points and eight rebounds. … The Wildcats shot 22-for-37 from the free-throw line to sink their season percentage to 66.5 … Arizona outrebounded its 12th consecutive opponent to start the season, 39-33.

[© 2013 Thomson Reuters. All rights reserved.]

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