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Seniors carry Arizona past Stanford

The SportsXchange

TUCSON, Ariz. -- Mark Lyons, Solomon Hill and Kevin Parrom did what seniors are expected to do. They led by example.

Lyons and Hill combined for 48 points Wednesday, and they teamed with Parrom to score or assist on 46 of Arizona's 47 second-half points. Their contributions helped the seventh-ranked Wildcats overcome a 10-point deficit for a 73-66 victory over Stanford at McKale Center.

Arizona outscored the Cardinal 24-12 over the final 5 1/2 minutes to pull away.

"Those guys played like seniors should play. They made the plays, and they won," Stanford coach Johnny Dawkins said.

Lyons, a senior transfer from Xavier, had his Arizona high with 25 points, and he added six assists. Hill had 23 points, and Parrom came off the bench to finish with eight points and nine rebounds.

"Solomon took over the game like seniors do," Lyons said. "He made big-time plays. I was facilitating, which is the biggest thing coach (Sean) Miller told me I needed to do.

"When the game is on the line, that's when great players are made. A lot of us made great defensive plays at the end of the game to open it up. You're really not a good player if you don't like crunch time."

Lyons dropped a pass into reserve forward Angelo Chol for a layup that gave the Wildcats a 56-54 lead with 4:26 remaining, then made a layup and a 3-pointer on the next two possessions to key the clinching spurt. The late run included a Parrom baseline jumper with 1:37 left and a Hill left-handed slam with 1:06 remaining. Hill's two free throws with 42 seconds left made it 69-61.

Chasson Randle's 3-pointer with 36 seconds left made it 69-64, but Parrom made three free throws and Hill made one down the stretch as Arizona (20-2, 8-2 Pac-12) held on for its seventh straight victory in the series. It is the fourth time the Wildcats have overcome double-digit leads to win this season.

The Wildcats hold a half-game lead in the Pac-12 in the first week of the second half. No. 19 Oregon, also 7-2 entering the second half of league play, plays host to Colorado on Thursday.

Center Dwight Powell led Stanford (14-9, 5-5) with 24 points, and point guard Aaron Bright had 16, making four of six 3-pointers. Arizona limited the Cardinal to 37.9 percent shooting from the field. Arizona shot 46.3 percent overall, 60 percent in the second half.

"We weren't as focused on defense the last portion of the game. We had some defensive lapses that gave Arizona easy looks at the basket. You can't let that happen if you want to win a game," said Powell, who grabbed 10 rebounds.

Randle had 11 points for Stanford, which had a three-game winning streak broken, and Josh Huestis added 10 points and 10 rebounds.

"I felt we had the game on lock most of the game and played really well. We just had lapses when it counted," Huestis said.

Lyons shot 9-for-13 from the field. He scored his career high, 27, with Xavier.

Hill went 7-for-13 from the floor, making six of his last seven attempts after an ineffective first half.

"Mark not only scored tonight, but he made his teammates better. He ran the team and really let the game come to him," Miller said.

Chol was forced into action when forward Brandon Ashley got into early foul trouble and also because Arizona did not like its defensive matchup with 7-footer Kaleb Tarczewski going against the Stanford front line. Chol had his best game of the season, finishing with six points and eight rebounds. He had played only 25 minutes and scored three points in the first nine conference games.

"If Angelo hadn't been able to come in and perform, we would not have won tonight," Miller said.

Stanford, which had won five of its last seven games after an 0-2 conference start, scored the first 10 points of the game behind point guard Bright, who made a layup and two 3-point field goals in the first 3 1/2 minutes while Arizona missed its first five shots and committed two turnovers.

Arizona did not take its first lead until Lyons' layup made it 38-37 with 14 1/2 minutes remaining.

NOTES: Arizona commemorated the 40th anniversary of McKale Center on Wednesday. The first game at McKale was played Feb. 1, 1973, an 87-69 Arizona victory over Wyoming in a Western Athletic Conference game in which Coniel Norman scored 37 points and Eric Money had 20. ... Stanford's last victory in Tucson came on Feb. 16, 2008, when center Robin Lopez blocked a shot in the final seconds to secure a 67-66 victory. ... Arizona has been ranked no lower than 12th in both major polls all season. ... Stanford, the defending NIT champion, planned to stay in Arizona following its game Wednesday until meeting Arizona State in Tempe late Saturday afternoon.
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