ANAHEIM, CA - MARCH 26: Jesse Perry #33 of the Arizona Wildcats celebrates with Kyle Fogg #21 after scoring against the Connecticut Huskies during the west regional final of the 2011 NCAA men's basketball tournament at the Honda Center on March 26, 2011 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

Arizona vs. Duquesne: Wildcats Show Signs Of Improvement In 67-59 Victory

Arizona improved to 2-0 on the season and won their 20th straight home game on Wednesday night.

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Arizona vs. Duquesne Final Score: Wildcats Win 67-59 Behind Jordin Mayes and Jesse Perry

For the second game in a row, the Arizona Wildcats needed a big second half in order to get past a quality mid-major opponent. Thanks to huge performances from Jordin Mayes and Jesse Perry, UA came away with a 67-59 victory over the Duquesne Dukes.

Mayes, for the second night in a row, stole the show in the second half and hit three huge three-pointers that changed the complexity of the game. He finished the evening with a career-high 19 points and will likely continue to start over Josiah Turner, who is still learning the college game.

Perry recorded his second double-double in as many games and continues to be a solid force in the paint for the Wildcats. Sean Miller praised Perry in his post-game interview and called the strides he has made since joining the team last season "remarkable". 

Angelo Chol did not start the game, though he played in favor of Kyryl Natyazhko throughout most of the contest. Chol finished with six points and eight rebounds and was able to disrupt multiple shots around the basket. He may not start in the next game, but one has to believe he will be the starting center sooner rather than later.

Arizona trailed 32-30 at halftime and the two teams were evenly matchup until midway through the second half. Brendon Lavender ignited a rally with a three pointer and the 'Cats did not look back after that. The game certainly wasn't pretty for all 40 minutes, but this team continues to improve and the potential is there.

The next time Arizona will take the court will be Sunday afternoon against Ball State. Tipoff is set for 4 p.m. from Tucson.


Arizona Wildcats Defeat Valparaiso Crusaders 73-64 In Season Opener

After a shaky first half of play, the Arizona Wildcats used a big second half to propel themselves to a 73-64 victory over the Valparaiso Crusaders.

Senior guard Kyle Fogg led the team with 16 points and Jesse Perry earned the first double-double of his career with 14 points and 10 rebounds. In his first game as a Wildcat, freshman Nick Johnson converted eight free throws in route to a 14 point, six assist game.

Arizona started off slowly and struggled with turnovers until finding their grove late in the first half. With a lead of just 32-30 at the half, the 'Cats scored 41 in the second half and gradually pulled away. The final score was closer than the game actually was; UA led by 20 points with just over four minutes to go and late free throws and three pointers inched the Crusaders back into the game during the final seconds.

While Perry, Fogg and Johnson led in scoring, it was the second half performances of Jordin Mayes and freshman Angelo Chol that stole the show. Mayes converted two three-point shots and finished the game with eight points after failing to score in the first 20 minutes. Chol's stat line is not overly impressive -- 6 points, 6 rebounds, 1 assist and 5 fouls in 23 minutes -- but his defensive impact was felt all game with four steals and solid rotations around the basket.

With Kyryl Natyazhko battling foul trouble and the inability to be an effective offensive player, Chol could be the starting center sooner rather than later. And while some believe freshman Sidiki Johnson should continue to get chances to contribute, Sean Miller had a very telling quote after the game.

"Hopefully he can work to get better," said Miller, "but I'm not counting on it." 

Those are big words from a head coach and he has made it known he was not happy with Johnson's progress thus far. UA can only hope Sidiki takes this criticism and uses it to make great strides in practice the next few weeks. The team needs his size and strength in the paint.

There were rough patches for Arizona throughout the game, but the season opener should be viewed as a success. 

Next Up: The Wildcats have just one day of practice before returning to McKale to face the Duquesne Dukes. Tipoff is set for 7 p.m.

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