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Top-ranked Arizona routs Southern

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POSTED December 19, 2013 11:58 p.m.

TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) — Aaron Gordon scored 21 points, Nick Johnson added 17 and Arizona opened its second week at No. 1 with a 69-43 rout over Southern on Thursday night.

Arizona (12-0) had no trouble with the Jaguars early on, racing out to a 15-point halftime lead while playing without injured center Kaleb Tarczewski. The second half wasn’t quite as smooth and the Wildcats went 22 of 37 on free throws, but it was good enough to get them to 12-0 for the second straight season.

Brandon Ashley had 11 points and 10 rebounds for Arizona.

Southern (3-8) fought back after a miserable first half, but fell in too deep of a hole to make a game of it. Malcolm Miller and Calvin Godfrey had 11 points each for the Jaguars.

Arizona moved to the top of The Associated Press poll last week for the first time since 2003 and immediately faced two difficult tests.

No. 8 Duke beats UCLA

NEW YORK (AP) — It was an average performance from Jabari Parker, and it drew praise worthy of another stellar effort by the Duke freshman.

“He’s a natural,” Blue Devils coach Mike Krzyzewski said after Parker had 23 points and 10 rebounds in an 80-63 victory over UCLA on Thursday night at Madison Square Garden. “In different sports there are people who are naturals. Jabari is a natural. He can become even better. He embraces the moment.”

Bruins coach Steve Alford was impressed with the 6-foot-8 Chicago native.

“He’s gifted. He’s got a lot of smoothness to him. He can be a big guard or post you,” the first-year UCLA coach said. “You don’t see a lot who are this polished 10, 11 games into the year.”

UCLA sophomore guard Kyle Anderson jumped in on the praise.

“It’s tough to say who is the best player on the floor, especially with that team and our group of guys, but he played really well,” said Anderson, who had another all-around game for the Bruins. “We wanted to shut him down but he’s tough.”

Women

Peters leads No. 2 Duke
women over Albany 80-51

DURHAM, N.C. (AP) — Haley Peters and No. 2 Duke got into a bit of trouble in a tricky little game between a pair of high-profile showdowns.

Once the Blue Devils shook off a slow start, they were just too much for Albany to handle.

Peters scored 17 points to help the Blue Devils beat the Great Danes 80-51 on Thursday night.

Chelsea Gray and Richa Jackson had 12 points apiece for Duke (11-1), which shot 59 percent from the floor in its first game since an 83-61 home loss to No. 1 Connecticut on Tuesday.

The Blue Devils, who play at No. 5 Kentucky on Sunday afternoon, looked as if they were still thinking about the Huskies or looking forward to the Wildcats at the start of their game against Albany.

“I think we just weren’t focused,” Gray said. “We had to pick it up defensively.”

Albany (8-2) led 20-13 with 7:53 remaining in the first half, but Duke answered with a 15-2 run en route to a 34-26 lead at halftime.

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