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Xavier transfer Mark Lyons commits to Arizona

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Xavier transfer Mark Lyons is officially headed to Arizona, he tweeted Sunday afternoon.

“Excited to be a wildcat!!!!!!!” the tweet reads.

Lyons left Xavier in April and it was rumored from the beginning that he could end up at Arizona.

Wildcat coach Sean Miller recruited Lyons while he was the head coach at Xavier, and Lyons will be able to play right away at Arizona, taking advantage of the NCAA’s one-year graduate transfer rule that allows players to play immediately at another institution as they pursue a graduate degree in a field not offered at their current school.

Lyons averaged 15.5 points and 3.4 rebounds this past season for the Musketeers as part of a strong backcourt that also included senior Tu Holloway.

The 6-1, 188-pound native of Schenectady, N.Y., fills a one-year need for Arizona, as they wait for Duquesne transfer TJ McConnell to become eligible.

Of the guards on the Arizona roster in 2011-12, point guard Josiah Turner transferred to Southern Methodist this off-season and Nick Johnson is more of a shooting guard than point guard.

Arizona is bringing in a Top 3 recruiting class in the country, in addition to Lyons, with the emphasis on size. Forwards Grant Jarrett, Matt Korcheck, and Brandon Ashley join center Kaleb Tarczewski in the frontcourt, and high-flying Gabe York comes in at the shooting guard position.

The Wildcats finished 23-12 this past season and lost in the first round of the NIT to Bucknell.

Daniel Martin is a writer and editor at JohnnyJungle.com, covering St. John’s. You can find him on Twitter:@DanielJMartin_

VIDEO: Monmouth hits a game-winner, Bench Mob member tries to disrobe

King Rice
AP
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Monmouth used a 17-2 run in the final minutes to beat Rider on Friday night, a win that will keep the Hawks within striking distance of the kind of an at-large bid to the NCAA tournament should they fall in the MAAC tourney.

The run was capped by star point guard Justin Robinson, who buried this three with three seconds left to put Monmouth up for good, 79-78:

No. 17 Arizona erases double-digit deficit to beat UCLA

Arizona coach Sean Miller reacts to a foul call during the first half of Arizona's NCAA college basketball game against UCLA, Friday, Feb 12, 2016, in Tucson, Ariz. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)
(AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)
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Allonzo Trier scored 15 of his 18 points in the second half and Parker Jackson-Cartwright scored 16 points in his second career start as No. 17 Arizona knocked off UCLA, 81-75, in Tucson on Friday night.

UCLA was up by as much as 11 points in the first half and took a ten point lead into half time, but in the second half, the Bruins were eventually done in by foul trouble and the stronger front line of the Wildcats.

Ryan Anderson and Kaleb Tarczewski were dominant down the stretch. The duo combined to score 12 of the last 23 point for the Wildcats, including the bucket that put the Wildcats ahead for the first time since early in the first half. Off of a missed free throw, UCLA’s Thomas Welsh battled with Tarczewski for the rebound, but when Welsh finally seemed to gain control of the loose ball, Anderson knocked it out of his hands and bullied through Jonah Bolden for a layup.

All told, those two combined for 20 points and 27 boards, seven of which were offensive. They also managed to foul out both Welsh and Tony Parker, although some of the calls that went against UCLA down the stretch were questionable.

The win keeps Arizona within a game of first place Oregon in the Pac-12 standings and tied for second with No. 23 USC, who will be visiting the McKale Center on Sunday night.