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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Cats down Cards with run

    Arizona forward Chase Budinger (34) and guard Mustafa Shakur (15) block  Louisville guard Edgar Sosa (10) as he goes to the basket during the first half of the Jimmy V Classic last night in Madison Square Garden, a contest the Wildcats won 72-65.
    Arizona forward Chase Budinger (34) and guard Mustafa Shakur (15) block Louisville guard Edgar Sosa (10) as he goes to the basket during the first half of the Jimmy V Classic last night in Madison Square Garden, a contest the Wildcats won 72-65.

    No. 14 Arizona 72, Louisville 65

    NEW YORK – In the world’s most famous arena, Madison Square Garden, Arizona showed off what has made it famous during head coach Lute Olson’s tenure.

    And the No. 14 Wildcats did it in quick fashion.

    Arizona went on one of its patented runs, outscoring Louisville 20-2 in 5:11, climbing out to a 41-26 first-half lead in the process.

    And then the Wildcats infamously let Louisville back in the game, lacking the usual killer instinct but subscribing to the bend but don’t break philosophy, narrowly escaping with a 72-65 win in the Jimmy V Classic.

    “”We knew Louisville was going to come back and make a run, and we don’t care how we got the win, it was a grind it out win,”” guard Jawann McClellan said. “”We proved to everybody that we can gut it out these last two games, and that’s what we came out and did tonight.””

    Forward Ivan Radenovic led the charge by scoring eight points in the run and a team-leading 22 points for the game to go along with 13 rebounds.

    Arizona called timeout with 17:38 remaining in the second half after Louisville closed the gap to 47-42, and Olson took Williams and Shakur aside.

    “”Get it into the post,”” Shakur said Olson told the duo. “”Make them work, move the ball around and get it inside.””

    “”They were in foul trouble so we wanted to make them work and get to the foul line,”” Shakur added.

    The Cardinals continued to climb back in the second half, pecking into the lead and taking one of their own at 50-49 with 13:16 left in the contest.

    Forward Juan Palacios led the Cardinals with 15 points but Louisville shot just 39 percent on the night.

    Arizona did not score a field goal for a 9:32 stretch in the second half after forward Chase Budinger made a layup 52 seconds into the second half. The Wildcats missed 20 of their first 22 shots in the period as they let the lead slip away.

    “”We took a lot of bad shots, we didn’t work the ball,”” Radenovic said. “”We took shots after the first pass or the second pass. …It was pretty bad, so we had to do something to get us back on the right track. We started passing more, and we put the ball inside in my hands.””

    With the ball in Radenovic’s hands, Arizona was safe. The senior made nine of his 10 free throws and turned the ball over just once in 38 minutes.

    “”I got a lot of shots today, and I was ready for it,”” Radenovic said. “”When they tried to stop my penetration I took open shots. When they were close to me I went around them.””

    With Arizona back at square one after the Cardinals’ onslaught, Shakur stopped the bleeding with a 3-pointer as 9:40 remained, giving Arizona a 54-50 lead. The Philadelphia native scored seven points and dished out six assists but shot 2-of-10 from the field.

    Shakur injured his index finger on his shooting hand during practice at the Garden on Monday and said there was swelling and discomfort in the finger.

    “”‘Staf hit a big big 3-pointer, and that kind of struck a little bit of a run for us,”” said Budinger, who had 17 points.

    McClellan also added 17 points, but Arizona’s 5-of-27 shooting (18.5 percent) in the second half contributed to the team’s season low of 72 points.

    “”There are going to be times when that happens, and we just have to stick together as a team and grind it out and try to get out of that stretch,”” Budinger said.

    “”We were just knocking down shots, we were hitting everything, so a team can’t keep that going where they’re just hitting everything, so we knew we were going to start missing shots.””

    While Budinger made his presence felt at the Garden, forward Marcus Williams struggled mightily.

    The sophomore missed all five of his field goal attempts and three of his eight free throw attempts en route to a season-low five points.

    “”You can’t knock down every shot,”” Williams said. “”You have to work yourself out of little slumps. I’ve done that before. I don’t think about it at all, like what are my stats for the night.””

    Williams also found himself saddled on the bench in foul trouble after picking up his second foul with 12:51 left in the first half. He rode the pine until the second half.

    Forward Terrence Williams, who grew up with Arizona’s Williams in Seattle, shined for Louisville with 13 points and 10 rebounds.

    “”It’s my younger half, so it’s good to see him doing well,”” Marcus Williams said. “”I’m proud of him.””

    Marcus said he didn’t feel added pressure playing against Terrence.

    He added that he needs to learn to get into a rhythm if he encounters early foul problems.

    “”That’s something I have to get better at,”” Williams said. “”There’s going to be games when we play a high-level team and I get in foul trouble early on, I have to be able to bounce back and produce in the second half.””

    After Arizona opened up a 69-58 lead late in the second half, the Cardinals slimmed the lead down to 69-65 with under a minute left to play.

    Radenovic found himself open after a cut only to have his shot blocked, but Shakur stole the ball and made one of two free throws, then caused a jump ball on the next possession giving the ball back to Arizona and securing the victory.

    “”They went on that run there in the first half, hitting all those 3s, and that kind of dug us into a little bit of a hole, but we came out in the second half and got some stops that we needed and eventually took a lead,”” said Louisville center David Padgett, who scored seven points. “”I just think we need our defense to get us going.””

    After not playing against Illinois last Saturday, guard Nic Wise was the first Wildcat off the bench, coming in with 13:29 left to play in the first half along with guard Daniel Dillon.

    Forward Bret Brielmaier entered the game less than two minutes later and Arizona had a lineup of Brielmaier, Dillon, and Wise along with Budinger and Shakur at one point.

    Forward Jordan Hill also saw three minutes of playing time, while Wise and Dillon both played double-figure minutes.

    “”Some of the guys are playing 38 minutes, and we just need to get out there and be ready to contribute,”” said Dillon, who had one point in 10 minutes. “”We’re just waiting for that chance, and a lot of players are happy to get out there and contribute a little bit.””

    Olson said the way Arizona won this game would not have happened earlier in the season.

    “”Three weeks ago, we could not have won a game like this, but I think our defense is getting better, the guys are playing harder,”” he said.

    For the Wildcats, it was their sixth consecutive victory and their second all-time in the Jimmy V Classic.

    “”It’s not always going to be as pretty as you want to, but you have to come out with a win,”” Shakur said.

    And 1

    Arizona had a clear fan advantage, drawing significantly more fans than the closer Louisville, as the fans sparked several “”U of A”” chants. The paid attendance was 10,611, but the stands only filled slightly more than 50 percent of capacity …Arizona has previously played once in the Jimmy V Classic, winning 91-83 over Texas in 2003 behind 30 points from former guard Hassan Adams … Standing next to Jim Valvano’s wife, Pam Valvano, Dick Vitale made a speech at halftime urging people to continue to donate to the V Foundation, where over $60 million has been raised to battle cancer. Vitale honored the late Valvano by ending the speech with Valvano’s famous words, “”Don’t give up, don’t ever give up.”” … Adams made a late appearance at the Garden after his New Jerseu Net game, sitting behind the Arizona bench for the last nine minutes of the second half. Former UA forward Richard Jefferson, Adams’ teammate on the Nets, joined him for the last five minutes.

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