Keshad Johnson scored 15 of his team-high 17 points in the first half to help No. 3 Arizona shake off a sluggish start as the Wildcats eventually overwhelmed Southern 97-59 on Monday night in Tucson, Ariz.
Arizona (3-0), which rose nine spots in the Associated Press poll on Monday following Friday’s win at then-No. 2 Duke, was sloppy and sluggish at the start, committing 14 first-half turnovers. But the Wildcats eventually got hot, taking control with a 17-0 run that spanned halftime, and scoring 62 second-half points.
Tai’Reon Joseph scored 22 points for Southern (1-2), which was aggressive from the opening tip and went on a 7-0 run to take a 17-12 lead with 11:14 left in the first half. They missed their next 16 shots, a drought that lasted more than 13 minutes.
The Wildcats scored the first 10 points after halftime and expanded their lead to as many as 38 before the midway point of the second half, allowing coach Tommy Lloyd to rest his starters, none of whom played after the 11:32 mark.
Five other Wildcats reached double-figure points, including Motiejus Krivas and KJ Lewis, who each scored 12 off the bench. Pelle Larsson added 11 points, while Kylan Boswell and Oumar Ballo each scored 10.
The Wildcats finished with 23 turnovers but compensated by hitting 64.7 percent of their shots (22 of 34) after the break.
Southern, which was coming off a win at UNLV last week, shot just 31.7 percent from the field (20 of 63). Brentay Noel was the only other Jaguars player to score in double figures (10).
Arizona made 37.5 percent of its first-half shots from the field but helped itself from the line, hitting 15 of 21 before halftime.
–Field Level Media
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