No. 8 Arizona was challenged by Southern Miss on Tuesday, but the Wildcats avoided the upset with a 63-55 win.
Southern Miss jumped out early, taking a 10-3 lead. Even after Arizona responded to tie the game, the Golden Eagles didn't fade. Instead, Southern Miss closed the first half on a 12-7 run to take a 35-27 lead at halftime. The Wildcats didn't take long to eliminate the deficit in the second half, but were unable to pull away from the Golden Eagles.
After not leading by more than three points at any point in the second half, the Wildcats finally pulled away with less than two minutes to play. After taking a six-point lead, the Wildcats made their free throws down the stretch to win. Although he scored only two points over the final 13 minutes, Nick Johnson led the way for the Wildcats. Johnson scored a career-high 23 points.
Kevin Parrom was huge down the stretch for the Wildcats. He finished with 14 points and eight rebounds while making 5-of-9 field goal attempts. Neil Watson led Southern Miss with 17 points. With the win, Arizona improved to 6-0.