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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Arizona basketball: Horne’s emergence carries Wildcats

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Even with a day of grieving, basketball was still the second thing on everyone’s mind.

But with an Arizona win Tucson’s community could, at least for a brief while, forget about Saturday’s shooting at a local shopping center that killed six people and injured 13 others – among the victims U.S. Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, a judge and a 9-year-old girl.

“”The fans really needed something positive from what happened yesterday,”” UA guard Kyle Fogg said. “”For me I mean, it really was a little more inspiration.””

For the second game in a row, senior Jamelle Horne hit timely shots after coming off the bench, scoring 16 points and grabbing 12 rebounds in helping the Arizona Wildcats (14-3, 3-1 Pacific 10 Conference) defeat Stanford (9-5, 2-1 Pac-10) 67-57 in McKale Center on Sunday. The game was scheduled for Saturday but postponed by Arizona in the aftermath of the deadly shooting.

Being the first off the bench, the difference for the Wildcats was Horne hitting all four of his 3-pointers and hitting the glass to reach his double-double. Having been benched after previously occupying the starting power forward slot, Horne grabbed four offensive rebounds, an often-missing key to his game, according to Miller.

“”Today, the shots went down, I was happy,”” Horne said. “”I really do feel comfortable coming off the bench. I’ve been offensively rebounding a lot better and that’s been translating into my game.””

Leading scorer Derrick Williams didn’t touch the ball for Arizona until over five minutes had passed, scoring on his first and second attempts to bring Arizona within one point after finding themselves down 12-6 at the first media timeout and 15:30 on the clock.

His performance was seemingly quiet.

Williams made his only five shots and shot 2-for-6 from the foul line, though it wasn’t as if he wasn’t getting his hands dirty. He grabbed nine rebounds and left with 11:46 minutes remaining in the first half to what head coach Sean Miller called an eye contusion. Four minutes into the second half, he again was removed from the game with a Curt Schilling-like bloody sock, the result of a cut on his ankle.

Hindered or not, Williams performance didn’t hamper Arizona.

Fogg and his back-up, Brendon Lavender, kept Stanford’s deadly 3-point shooter, Jeremy Green, quiet by putting a hand in his face and forcing misses despite Green’s knack for running his defenders off screens. Green finished with 15 points on 5-for-14 shooting.

“”It’s hard (to guard Green),”” Fogg said. “”The guy doesn’t stop moving.

“”Last year I really got lit up a lot by different guys,”” he added. “”It’s mostly just the team helping me out. Guys like Jamelle (Horne) or Solomon (Hill) helping out … bumping them.””

Rebounding, a missing ingredient for the Wildcats in their rocky performances this season, fell into Arizona’s favor with a resounding 41-26 comparison. That led to a 16-6 discrepancy in second-chance points; the same difference in the final score.

Arizona appeared to take advantage of its extra day of rest despite what Miller called a “”tired basketball team.””

“”I could kind of sense it over the last couple of days,”” Miller added.

Fogg added to the Stanford deficit with his own 3-pointer with a minute to tick off the first half clock to punch the lead up to 37-28. With time expiring, he missed another bomb but shot the ball with enough time to allow Horne to give Arizona a 39-28 lead,it’s largest at that point, on a put-back dunk as the buzzer sounded. It was the culmination of Arizona’s 10-0 run to end the half and a 3:52 period without letting the Cardinal score.

Both teams traded buckets well into the second half, and Williams kept scoring every shot. Off the glass and the shot clock winding down, he hit a 3-pointer to give Arizona a 50-37 lead with 11:27 remaining.

While Williams acquired six turnovers, his teammates — Horne especially — picked up the slack.

“”It takes some weight off Derrick’s back,”” said Hill, who scored nine points and cleaned the glass enough to come up with seven rebounds.

Point guards Momo Jones and Jordin Mayes accounted or seven assists to three turnovers and reserves Kevin Parrom and Lavender combined for 13 points.

Green brought Arizona’s lead back to single digits on a put-back dunk with 5:46 left in the contest after Arizona had built a 15 point advantage of 54-39 with 9:40 to go. With a 59-54 lead for the Wildcats and about three and a half minutes remaining, Horne hit a clutch 3-pointer, just as he had a game ago.

“”His shots are very timely right now,”” Miller said. “”He could start again.””

With just over two minutes left, Horne drilled a 3-pointer from the same left corner to bump the lead to 65-56, and Arizona hung on to win, sending the crowd of 14,374 home with something to take their mind off of Saturday’s shooting.

“”Hopefully today’s game had some kind of a healing affect,”” Miller said. “”We came here to play hard today and in a sense play for Tucson.””

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