Wildcats hang on to open season

Arizona's season opener may have been tougher than expected, but the Wildcats were able to hang on for an 82-73 win. Read on for the complete recap.

Arizona needed a late run to defeat Charleston Southern on Sunday, as the Wildcats won 82-73.

Charleston Southern jumped out to a quick start with buckets from Arlon Harper and Mathiang Muo followed by two free throws by Harper to get the 6-0 lead less than two minutes into the game. Arizona got on the board shortly after with a three-pointer by Solomon Hill, but Allie Fullah hit a short hook shot to bring the lead to 8-3. Harper then hit a three-pointer that forced Sean Miller to call timeout down 11-3.

Arizona ended the run with Kaleb Tarczewski's first regular season points and Mark Lyons added two free throws to cut the Charleston Southern lead to 11-7. Paul Gombwer proceeded to hit one free-throw of his own before Gombwer hit a three to extend the lead to eight. Solomon Hill was able to get a goal-tending call and Brandon Ashley added a free-throw as the Buccaneers led 15-10 with a little over 13 minutes left in the first half.

Gabe York then came up with a steal and dished it to Jordin Mayes for a layup before being able to hit a layup of his own, as Arizona forced a timeout with the Charleston Southern lead down to 15-14 with 11:28 left in the first half.

Muo came out of the timeout with a three-pointer, but Grant Jerrett answered right back with a three of his own. Gombwer answered with a layup that Nick Johnson responded to with a nice drive of his own, but Harper was able to score to keep the lead at three. Jeremy Sexton extended the lead to six with a three-pointer before Nick Johnson hit two free throws to make it 25-21.

A three-pointer by Mayes once again brought Arizona within one and then he was able to give the Wildcats their first lead, 26-25, with a floater with 4:52 left. Mayes then scored his eighth straight point on a three-pointer, but Malcolm Bernard hit two free throws to stop the run and cut the Arizona lead to 29-27. Nimley was able to score on a goal-tending call and the game was tied with 3:52 left in the first half.

The teams exchanged three-pointers before Nimley hit two free-throws that were answered by Ashley making a jumper. Bernard hit a three-pointer the next time down the court and Ashley was able to cut the lead to one with two free-throws of his own. The lead went right back to three with two free-throws by Charleston Southern and, once again, Ashley got two of his own next time down court.

A three-pointer by Johnson gave Arizona the two-point lead with under a minute to go in the half and a layup by Ashley extended it to five, as the Wildcats went into the half up 43-39.

Tarczewski started the half with two points for Arizona, but Fullah answered with two of his own. Muo cut Arizona's lead to two, but a blocked shot by Jerrett and Tarczewski led to a break in which Lyons was able to lay it in to extend the lead to four with 17:04 left in the second half. Gombwer hit a jumper shortly after and Arizona led 47-45 going into the media timeout.

Bowen tied the game with a layup before Hill hit a three-pointer to put the Wildcats up three. Strickland hit one of two free throws, which was matched by Ashley with 12:39 to go in the second half. Johnson followed it up with a dunk off a steal by Mayes and Ashley, but Muo followed with a three-pointer out of a timeout to cut the UA lead to two.

A free-throw by Harper cut into the lead again with about 11 minutes left, but Angelo Chol hit a short hook to put the Wildcats back up three. Lyons then hit a three to extend the lead to six, but Bowen hit a layup to keep Charleston Southern around.

Muo then hit a hook shot in the lane to bring the Buccaneers within two with about eight minutes to go before Hill hit a three-pointer to extend the lead to five. A Lyons three-pointer from the corner gave Arizona its biggest lead of the day, 65-57 with a little over six minutes left.

Nimley hit a three seconds later to bring Charleston Southern within five, but a layup by Johnson put it right back at seven. However, Muo was able to hit two free throws with under five minutes left.

Ashley hit two free throws of his own, but Nimley got to the line and hit two as well. On the next play, Lyons was able to hit a three-point play to put the Wildcats up 72-64 with about four minutes left.

Once again, Charleston Southern was able to get to the line, as Nimley hit two of three free throws. Kevin Parrom was able to answer with a three-point play to put Arizona up nine with about three minutes to go.

Mark Lyons hit a layup of his own to put the UA up 77-66 and a Parrom three-pointer extended it to 14 with 1:46 left.

Charleston Southern was able to come back with four straight points to come within ten with one minute left, but Arizona was able to hold it off.

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