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(Thursday, December 19th)
Final Score: (1) Arizona 69, Southern 43
Tucson, AZ (SportsNetwork.com) - Aaron Gordon scored a career-high 21 points to lead No. 1 Arizona to a 69-43 win over Southern on Thursday night.
Nick Johnson netted 17 and Brandon Ashley contributed a double-double with 11 points and 10 rebounds for the Wildcats (12-0).
Arizona was without starting center Kaleb Tarczewski due to an ankle injury he suffered during Saturday's 72-70 win at Michigan. Gordon, though, helped pick up the offense, making 8-of-11 shots, although he was just 4-of-10 from the free throw line.
"He played very well tonight, especially offensively," said Arizona coach Sean Miller about Gordon. "The free throws can't become mental for him. He's working at it though."
Malcolm Miller and Calvin Godfrey paced the Jaguars (3-8) with 11 points and Tre Lynch added 10 points in the setback.
The highlight factory that is Gordon struck early against the Jaguars. Following an Ashley block, T.J. McConnell rushed it up the floor and lobbed it to Gordon, who threw it down for an early 6-3 lead.
Miller answered with a jumper, but Arizona used a 9-0 run to take a 15-5 lead with just under 14 minutes left in the first.
Southern pulled within six a couple of minutes later when the Wildcats went on a 14-0 run highlighted by another forceful dunk from Gordon. The freshman scored eight points during the spurt to help Arizona to a 30-11 lead with 4:45 to play in the half.
Southern trimmed the deficit to 34-19 at the break.
Southern pulled to within 10 in the opening minutes of the second but that is as close as they came for the remainder of the contest.
The Wildcats proceeded to go on a 13-4 run which gave them a 49-30 lead after three free throws from Johnson at 12:28. The final margin was the Wildcats' largest lead of the game.
Arizona has won 30 of its last 32 non-conference home games ... The Wildcats shot 54.2 percent from the field in the first half ... Rondae Hollis-Jefferson scored eight points with eight rebounds in the win ... Arizona is back in action at home against Northern Arizona on Monday.
12/20 02:06:29 ET