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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Last-second 3-pointer downs UA men’s basketball

    Wildcat forward Chase Budinger is called for a foul in Friday nights 67-66 loss to Texas A&M in Reed Arena. Budinger was forced to act as the teams point guard when Nic Wise fouled out of the game halfway through the second half.
    Wildcat forward Chase Budinger is called for a foul in Friday night’s 67-66 loss to Texas A&M in Reed Arena. Budinger was forced to act as the team’s point guard when Nic Wise fouled out of the game halfway through the second half.

    Texas A&M 67, Arizona 66

    COLLEGE STATION, Texas – An hour before the tipoff between the Arizona men’s basketball team and Texas A&M, UA guard Nic Wise walked by a few Aggie students and onto the court to warm up.

    “”Nic, we love you,”” three students yelled at the Houston native.

    Wise smiled and waved, but he had a tough time showing any love back in the game.

    The Aggies (6-1) beat Arizona (5-2) 67-66 in Reed Arena on Friday night in the Big 12/Pac-10 Hardwood Series in both teams’ biggest test of the season thus far, but it was a fight to the finish – a finish without Wise.

    The junior guard picked up his fourth foul with 9:56 left in the game, forcing him to sit out. He was put back into the game at the 7:38 mark, however, and fouled out of the game five seconds later, leaving with 11 points.

    Arizona was up 59-50 at the time.

    “”He was missed a lot. He’s basically the focal point of our offense,”” UA forward Jordan Hill said. “”… When he got taken out, it seemed like it went downhill from there.””

    In a quick turn of events, the Aggies clawed back from their deficit, taking its only lead of the night with 19.7 seconds left as A&M forward Nathan Walkup hit a 3-pointer – his only points of the night – to give the home team what proved to be the final score.

    “”I was looking for the pass at first, and then I read my man and he kind of hesitated,”” Walkup said. “”And I let it go.””

    Arizona called a timeout with 17 seconds left to draw up a plan, which led to Chase Budinger shooting a last-second shot that he missed.

    The ball went out of bounds off an Aggie, however, and the Wildcats got another chance with .3 seconds left.

    But Budinger, who finished with 15 points and six rebounds, threw the ball in and it was tipped around by several hands before the buzzer sounded and A&M fans rushed the court.

    “”I was really proud of my team. We came into a tough environment against a quality opponent like Texas A&M and played well,”” said UA head coach Russ Pennell. “”But by the same token, like I told them in the locker room, I’m not into moral victories and I’m very disappointed that we couldn’t hold on and win.””

    Arizona finished shooting 58.3 percent (28-for-48) from the field, and held the Aggies to 47.1 percent (24-for-51) shooting.

    Arizona, however, had 15 turnovers to A&M’s four.

    “”The only reason that we were able to win was that we only had four turnovers,”” said A&M head coach Mark Turgeon.

    Hill, who finished with a game-high 20 points and eight rebounds, was charged with a technical foul – his third personal – with 6:33 left in the game for something he said on the court, giving Josh Carter two shots at the line to bring the Aggies to within 5 points at 59-54.

    “”That’s definitely something I need to work on,”” Hill said. “”I just need to ignore what other opponents are saying.

    “”When I’m on the court, I’ve got a lot of fire. I like to intimidate other opponents,”” Hill added. “”I just like to talk a little bit. Tonight just wasn’t a good time to talk.””

    Then 18 seconds later, A&M guard B.J. Holmes scored three of his team-high 14 points at the top of the arc to cut the deficit to 59-56, bringing the crowd of 10,393 to its feet.

    A Bryan Davis layup with 3:36 left tied the score at 62, marking the first time in the game the Aggies didn’t trail the Wildcats.

    Two buckets by Hill gave Arizona a 66-62 lead. The Wildcats had the chance to expand on its lead, but Budinger traveled and Kyle Fogg missed a free throw down the stretch.

    Arizona started the game leading 15-2, but in 2:13 of play, the Aggies took advantage of Wildcat fouls and turnovers to cut the score to 15-12.

    The Wildcats went on a 6-0 run from there and led by as much as 14 points in the first half, even with Hill sitting on the bench with two fouls he collected 6:52 into the game. Hill sat until halftime.

    Hill’s foul trouble, which carried into the second half, didn’t bode well for the Wildcats when coupled with Wise fouling out, which in turn, took a tole on Budinger.

    In short, Arizona’s Big Three was deflated.

    “”Not only did we not have (Wise) on the floor, but it made Chase play out of position,”” Pennell said. “”It was pretty tough for us to get into the things we wanted to get into.””

    And 1

    Fogg started in place of Garland Judkins, who didn’t make the trip for “”failing to meet team obligations,”” said UA interim head coach Russ Pennell.

    When asked if he missed Judkins after Wise fouled out, Pennell quickly shook his head said, “”no,”” and looked away.

    Pennell said he expects Judkins to be back to action for UA’s Dec. 10 game against San Diego State.

    Read the print edition of the Daily Wildcat for more coverage of the game.

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