Men's College Basketball
<    April    

                 === Lyons lifts No. 3 Arizona over Aztecs ===
 Honolulu,  HI (Sports  Network) - Mark Lyons  hit a pair of clutch free throws
 and Nick Johnson provided a game-saving block to help No.3 Arizona escape with
 a  68-67 victory  over 17th-ranked San Diego State in the championship tilt of
 the Diamond Head Classic.
 Solomon Hill scored a game-high 21 points and Kevin Parrom followed with 17 to
 help the Wildcats (12-0) stay undefeated.
 "It  took  two great  plays on  both offense  and defense  to secure the win,"
 Arizona coach Sean Miller said. "And we made both of them."
 Chase  Tapley led the Aztecs (11-2) with 19 points and had a path to score the
 winning  basket in the final seconds, but Johnson came from behind to swat his
 shot  off  the glass  and secure the  win for Arizona,  which matched its best
 start to a season since 1987-88.
 "I  just  have to tip my  hat off to him."  Tapley said of Johnson's block. "I
 didn't  even know he was around. He just came out of nowhere. I'm thinking the
 game is over. The next thing you know, the ball is going off the backboard."
 Xavier  Thames  poured in 11  points and  Jamaal Franklin tallied nine points,
 eight  rebounds  and six  assists for  San Diego State,  which saw its 11-game
 winning streak come to an end.
 Despite  Franklin, the  Aztecs' season-leading scorer, being held scoreless in
 the first half, San Diego State trailed just 29-27 to start the second stanza.
 However,  Franklin  scored the first  points of the second  half on a layup to
 spark an 8-0 run, which put San Diego State ahead 35-29.
 Back-to-back  buckets  by Thames extended  the Aztecs'  edge to 41-33, but the
 Wildcats countered several minutes later.
 Brandon Ashley scored on a layup and finished a three-point play around a pair
 of  free  throws from  Johnson to  bring Arizona within  45-44 before taking a
 brief one-point lead following a pair of Hill free throws at the 10:16 mark.
 With  under  five minutes  to  play,  Winston Shepard  broke  a  60-60 tie  by
 splitting two free throws to give the Aztecs a one-point edge.
 Parrom  countered  with  a jumper  at  the  other  end,  but Tapley  buried  a
 triple  on  the ensuing possession  to give San  Diego State a 64-62 advantage
 with 3:17 to go.
 A  minute later, Parrom  drained a 3-pointer to put Arizona back on top 65-64,
 but  Thames sank a pair from the line with 1:22 left to give San Diego State a
 one-point lead.
 After  Hill tied it  by hitting 1-of-2 from the line, Franklin got fouled on a
 drive to the basket with 31.4 seconds to go. His first was too strong, but his
 second swished through to put the Aztecs on top 67-66.
 Lyons  held the ball  at the top of the key for several seconds before driving
 to  the  basket and drawing a  foul. He calmly sank  both from the line to put
 the Aztecs ahead 68-67 with 13 ticks left.
 On  San  Diego State's final  possession, Tapley used a  screen to get an open
 look  at  the basket,  but Johnson rejected  his layup off  the glass to allow
 Arizona to escape with the win.
 Tapley  and  Hill each  scored  10  points during  the  first  half for  their
 respective  teams,  but the  Wildcats held  a two-point  edge heading into the
                                   Game Notes
 Arizona  leads the  all-time  series  between the  two  schools  21-7 ...  The
 Wildcats  improved to 20-9 in games played in the state of Hawaii ... Franklin
 had his streak of scoring in double-figures come to an end at 32 games ... San
 Diego State moved to 9-11 in its last 20 games against AP top-25 teams.
 12/26 01:54:49 ET

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