The Student News Site of University of Arizona

The Daily Wildcat

70° Tucson, AZ

The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    McClellan fights through pain to hit clincher

    LAS VEGAS – Jawann McClellan charged to the basket from the left side, jumped into a Runnin’ Rebel and fell hard on his back. The ball fell through the hoop and nine players ran down the court, leaving McClellan grimacing in pain on the floor.

    “”I was fine, but I probably won’t be able to walk tomorrow,”” McClellan said after the game Wednesday in the visitors’ locker room in the Thomas & Mack Center. “”It was hurting. Oh yeah, it was hurting.””

    McClellan was helped off the court at the 16:05 mark in the second half. And by 15:53, he was back in the game. It was the only break he got the whole contest.

    It was all he needed.

    He sank a jumper at 4:58 to cut the Runnin’ Rebel lead to 45-44 and a trey with 26 seconds left to put the Wildcats out of reach, 52-48.

    “”I was scared,”” said UA forward Chase Budinger. “”I was hoping that he didn’t injure himself too bad. It was very relieving to see that he was fine and ready to get back into the game.””

    Said UA interim head coach Kevin O’Neill: “”I knew Jawann was getting up. I said right off the bat that we had to get him about 30 seconds (of rest), but I never worry about Jawann. And he’ll be sore as anything tomorrow, but he’ll play on Saturday for us.””

    After he re-entered the game, McClellan limped around the court with a look of pain on his face. He was blocked from beyond the arc the next time he went up for a shot, but he hit two of his remaining five shots – including the key 3-pointer late in the game – which made the difference for the Wildcats.

    “”K.O. told me, J.B. (guard Jerryd Bayless) and Chase that shots are going to fall and we just need to keep shooting,”” McClellan said. “”I hit the shot, but I just happened to be in the right place at the right time.””

    Budinger and Bayless combined for just 14 points and McClellan finished the game with 12 points on 5-for-10 shooting, four rebounds and three blocks.

    “”He’s tough, he’s hard-nosed,”” O’Neill said. “”He’s been a great leader for us and he really did some things down the stretch to solidify that.””

    More to Discover
    Activate Search