HONOLULU – With a roster that’s basically half full of combo guards, the Arizona Wildcats don’t have to put the ball in Mark Lyons’ hands all of the time.
But it’s looking like a pretty good idea to do so when the game is on the line.
For the second time in 10 days Tuesday, Lyons made a game-winning offensive play against a ranked team when he hit two free throws to give UA the winning margin over San Diego State in the Diamond Head Classic championship.
On Dec. 15 against Florida, Lyons drove in for a layup that gave the Wildcats a 65-64 win over Florida. On Tuesday, he drove in on San Diego State and picked up a foul, making both free throws to give UA a 68-67 lead with 13 seconds, while defensive plays by Nick Johnson and Kevin Parrom secured the win.
For Lyons, the clutch offense continued a trend that also included a game-tying layup he made for Xavier to send an ESPN2-televised game at Vanderbilt last season into overtime, all because of a confidence that UA coach Sean Miller has seen for years.
That’s why Miller recruited Lyons out of high school for Xavier and re-recruited him last spring, when Lyons opted to transfer for his final year of eligibility.
Read more about Lyons in Friday's Arizona Daily Star.