Mark Lyons scored 24 points on 8-of-15 shooting to lead No. 7 Arizona past Arizona State, 71-54, at Wells Fargo Arena in Tempe, Ariz., on Saturday.
Arizona-Arizona State was hyped for much of the week, due in large part to the backcourt matchup of Lyons and point guard Jahii Carson for Arizona State. It had all the important contrasts: veteran vs. freshman, favorite vs. underdog, transfer vs. patient redshirt.
Lyons has drawn criticism so far this season, with detractors citing Lyons’ move to point guard from shooting guard as a reason to be wary of Arizona, come March.
Carson, on the other hand, is the young, quick, scoring-oriented point guard in the modern mold. He’s able to score for himself off the dribble, but can also create for others.
Lyons ultimately won the battle Saturday, though both had their own struggles with foul trouble. Carson finished with 22 points on 7-of-13 shooting.
Arizona continues on its quest for a Pac-12 championship, while coach Herb Sendek on the Sun Devils have done an impressive job of turning around a 10-21 season last year to already have 14 wins in 2012-13.