Mark Lyons 14 points help No. 4 Arizona to 45-31 halftime lead versus ORU
Larry Hogan / Arizona Daily Wildcat
Mark Lyons picked up right where he left off to start Arizona’s game against Oral Roberts, and the Wildcats lead the Golden Eagle’s 45-31 after the first half.
On Saturday against then-No. 5 Florida, Lyons hit the game-winning shot with seven seconds remaining to give Arizona its eighth consecutive win and a jump to No. 4 in the AP Top 25 poll.
Lyons opened Tuesday’s game with a 3-pointer after a Nick Johnson steal, and Arizona ran out to a quick 12-4 lead. Arizona’s senior point guard led all scorers with 14 points on 5-of-6 shooting.
With 1:37 remaining, Lyons was on the receiving end of a Jordin Mayes alley-oop and finished with authority, essentially jumping over a much larger defender to finish the play and put Arizona up 16 points. His muscle-flexing celebration, though, led to a technical foul and head coach Sean Miller removed him from the game for the final minute and a half.
Oral Roberts was able to bring it to within six points at 21-15 with 11:18 remaining, but a 7-0 run started by a Grant Jerrett 3-pointer over the next 8:07 put Arizona up by a game-high 13 points.The game was sloppy for the first five minutes, though, as the two squads combined for eight turnovers. Oral Roberts had five of them, four of which came on two steals a piece from Johnson and Solomon Hill.
ORU’s Warren Niles, who entered the game leading the Golden Eagles with 20.9 points per game, had 10 points but on 2-for-8 shooting thanks to stout defensive play from Johnson, who guarded him for much of the half.
Johnson ended the half with 12 points, three steals and tied Lyons for a team lead with three assists. Solomon Hill added four steals, five points, three rebounds and two assists.
Arizona, who leads the Pac-12 in 3-point shooting percentage, shot an efficient 7-of-11 from long range and 17-of-27 overall while ORU attempted just three 3-pointers, making one of them.
Starting center Kaleb Tarczewski only saw seven minutes of action after picking up three quick fouls.