No. 8 Arizona holds off Southern Miss 63-55

No. 8 Arizona holds off Southern Miss 63-55
December 4, 2012, 11:46 pm
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Arizona's Mark Lyons (2) dribbles around Southern Mississippi's Deon Edwin (15) during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in Tucson, Ariz.,Tuesday, Dec. 4, 2012. (AP Photo/John Miller)

(APWF)

TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) Nick Johnson scored 23 points, Kevin Parrom had 13 of his 14 in the second half and No. 8 Arizona overcame a season-high 27 turnovers to hold off Southern Miss 63-55 Tuesday night.

Arizona (6-0) struggled against Southern Miss' zone defense, throwing passes into traffic, to open spaces, even one that sailed over the coaches on the bench into the crowd.

The Wildcats survived behind their defense, forcing Southern Miss into 17 second-half turnovers to pull away to their best start since opening the 1999-2000 season with six straight wins.

Southern Miss (6-2) used its swarming zone while building an eight-point halftime lead and kept forcing Arizona into mistakes.

The Golden Eagles struggled against Arizona's pressure in the second half, though, missing all eight of their 3-point attempts while nearly quadrupling their turnovers from the first half.

Neil Watson led Southern Miss with 17 points.