By BRIAN J. PEDERSEN – Associated Press
TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) – Keshad Johnson scored a career-high 17 points and used No.
The Wildcats (3-0) trailed by five midway through the first half before outscoring the Tigers 60-18 over the remaining 20 minutes.
“I think we had a really good team,” Wildcats coach Tommy Lloyd said. “We’re kind of learning our way, just like everybody else. I take my hat off to Southern for the effort and energy they played with.”
Johnson, a senior transfer from San Diego State, was 6 of 8 from the field and 5 of 6 from the line. He scored 14 points in each of the previous two games at Arizona, incl 78-73 win Friday at then-No. 2 Dukes in which he converted the three-point play in front with under a minute remaining.
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Motiejus Krivas and KJ Lewis each had 12 points and were among six Wildcats to score in double figures. Arizona has had at least five players score 10 or more points in every game this season.
“I always like to be fair,” Lloyd said. The Wildcats had 19 players in double figures through three games.
Arizona led 35-23 at halftime, holding Southern without a field goal the final 11:13 of the first half. After scoring the final seven points of the first half, the Wildcats opened the second on a 10-0 run to take a 22-point advantage with 18:23 remaining.
Southern ended a five-minute scoring drought with five straight points from Tai’Reon Joseph to get within 45-28, but Arizona went on a 16-2 run.
Joseph led the Tigers (1-2) with 22 points on 8-of-20 shooting, while the rest of his team was 12 of 41.
Southern took a 17-12 lead with 11:13 left in the first half on a 3-pointer by Brandon Davis, taking advantage of seven early Arizona turnovers. However, the Tigers missed their next 15 shots.
“I thought we fought for about 16 minutes,” South coach Kevin Johnson said. “But when those guys are that big and that good, it’s hard to play normally. I looked up and we had nine guys in foul trouble. It makes it difficult.”
South: The Tigers were originally set to host this game as part of the Pac-12/SWAC Legacy Series that began last season, but Arizona asked to move the game to Tucson to meet its allotment of games at Center McCale. The teams are scheduled to play in Baton Rouge at a future date.
Arizona: Coach Tommy Lloyd improved to 64-11, the second-most wins in 75 games to start a Division I career behind former Wisconsin coach Doc Meanwell (71-4). Lloyd already has the most wins in a coach’s first two seasons (61) and needs 26 more to pass Brad Underwood (89) for the most in his first three seasons.
Southern: At Western Illinois on Friday.
Arizona: Hosts Belmont on Friday.
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