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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Wise does it again

Michael Ignatov
Michael Ignatov / Arizona Daily Wildcat University of Arizona meets Lipscomb in an NCAA men’s basketball game at McKale Center, Tucson, Ariz., Dec. 21, 2009. Arizona went on to win 83-82 on a Nic Wise three-point buzzer beater in overtime.

Nic Wise jumped on the padded media table, nodded his head and thumped his chest twice as if to say ‘Yes, I did it again.’

The UA senior point guard took an inbound pass the length of the floor to score a game-winning layup with 0.9 seconds left to give the Arizona men’s basketball team (6-5) a 74-72 win over North Carolina State (8-3) Wednesday night in McKale Center. For the second time in three days Wise hit the game winner in the final second.

He made a 3-pointer with .1 second remaining Monday to beat Lipscomb 83-82 in overtime.

“”Pretty much the same thing went through my mind as the other night—I just had the will not to lose,”” Wise said. “”I was just trying to make a play or draw the foul. I’m happy for my teammates because we’re a young team and we’re getting better day by day.””

Wise finished the game with 17 points on 5-for-10 shooting, scoring 15 of those points in the second half.

“”I have complete trust in Nic and I believe in him,”” said UA head coach Sean Miller. “”He’s really good at the end of games because of his experience and ability, and he has a big heart.

“”There are some really good players that have had great college careers that have never made a play like that, yet alone win two games in a row like he has done,”” Miller added.

The Wildcats led 70-64 with 36 seconds remaining but NC State’s point guard, Javier Gonzalez, kept the game tight. He led the Wolfpack with 18 points on 7-for-11 shooting from the field, scoring 10 of those points in the last 30 seconds of the game.

Gonzalez drove through the lane to tie the game at 74 with 6 seconds remaining to set up the game winner from Wise.

“”Just another thrilling game at McKale, you almost expect it to go into overtime,”” Miller said. “”We weren’t a smart team in the last three minutes.””

The first half had two surprise visits to the UA lineup as both freshman Kevin Parrom and junior Jamelle Horne entered the game, when just two days prior neither was expected to play.

Parrom missed the first 10 games with a stress fracture in his foot. He played 6 minutes, going 0-for-2 from the field.

Miller initially said Horne had told him that he could be out up to six weeks because of a mid-foot sprain, but on Wednesday night Horne checked in for center Kyryl Natyazhko just two minutes into the game. It was the first time Horne didn’t start in a game he played in all season.

“”It was just a little bit of miscommunication,”” Horne said. “”I came back and gave my teammates what I had, and it came down to the buzzer so now we’re going to into Christmas happy.””

Horne showed no signs of being hurt early as he started a 9-0 UA run with a 3-pointer and an emphatic breakaway dunk off of a steal that seemed to give the Wildcats the spark they needed. Arizona trailed 8-1 before Horne’s quick 5-point burst.

Horne finished the game with 12 points, 8 rebounds and 4 steals in 27 minutes.

Overshadowed by another game winner from Wise was a game-high 24-point performance from freshman Derrick Williams, who went 10-for-17 from the field.

“”He has an incredible knack around the basket. He’s kind of out there floating around and you look at the end he has 20 points,”” Miller said. “”He’s a big reason why we have the six wins we do have this year.””

The Wildcats will have a few days off as Christmas approaches. They will be back to practice at 5 p.m. Saturday to prepare for a Dec. 28 showdown against BYU in the Fiesta Bowl classic in McKale Center.

“”We’re going to play our very best game in order to beat them,”” Miller said.

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