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Thread: Arizona edges Louisiana 72-69

  1. #1

    UL Basketball No. 4 Arizona 72, Louisiana 69

    TUCSON, Ariz. -- Andre Iguodala wasn't the designated shooter on Arizona's final possession of a wild game with Louisiana. He got the ball because center Channing Frye was covered.

    It turned out to be the break the fourth-ranked Wildcats needed.

    Iguodala hit a 3-pointer from the corner with 9 seconds remaining, and Arizona escaped an upset in its holiday tournament with a 72-69 victory over the Ragin' Cajuns on Tuesday night.

    "I was thinking about getting open and getting the shot up," Iguodala said. "I have faith in my team to get the offensive rebound if I missed, but when the shot left my hand I knew it was good."

    Mustafa Shakur threw an inbounds pass across half the court for the shot that broke a tie created when Dwayne Mitchell dunked at the other end with 44 seconds to go.

    "They had their whole defense to the ball side (blocking out Frye)," coach Lute Olson said. "Thank goodness Andre screened for it and Mustafa delivered."

    The Cajuns' Brad Boyd missed a 3-point attempt in the final seconds, and Chris Cameron's putback was late and rolled over the rim.

    "I kind of hesitated with the shot, and Frye was jumping right there," said Boyd, who made only three of his tournament-record 17 3-point attempts. "I felt like it was a good shot, but it just didn't go in."

    Olson picked up his 300th home victory (300-30) and 18th title in the Fiesta Bowl Classic's 19 years. It was Olson's 699th win in 31 years as a coach at Long Beach State, Iowa and Arizona.

    He has never lost in the event. The Wildcats were upset by Mississippi State in the 2000 championship, but Olson was attending to his cancer-stricken wife.

    The rest of the story

    AP Sports Writer

    (AP Photo John Miller)
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    As tense as the ending was, Arizona figures to profit from being pushed to the limit in the championship game of the Fiesta Bowl Classic.

    The fourth-ranked Wildcats were down 9-0 less than three minutes into the game with Louisiana-Lafayette on Tuesday night and later squandered leads of 12 and nine points before Andre Iguodala's nerveless 3-pointer delivered a 72-69 victory.

    "All Pac-10 games are going to be close and down to the wire," said Iguodala, whose 20-footer from the corner dropped with 9 seconds to go. "We have to know how to be focused and play with pressure."

    Mustafa Shakur didn't hesitate to fire the inbounds pass the other way after seeing coverage that made it difficult to get a lob pass to center Channing Frye.

    "Iggy makes big-time plays," Shakur said. "I knew he was going to hit that shot. Our guys step up when they need to."

    The Cajuns' Brad Boyd missed a 3-point attempt in the final seconds, and Chris Cameron's putback was late and rolled over the rim.

    But Louisiana coach Jessie Evans had no second thoughts about having Boyd take the final shot. The senior has 203 3-pointers in his career and needs only 48 more to break Sydney Grider's school record.

    "That last possession we were right where we wanted to be," Evans said. "We got anxious. You've got to execute, and we did not execute in the end."

    Boyd, who made three of a tournament-record 17 attempts from beyond the arc, acknowledged that he hesitated and Frye may have affected his aim.

    The rest of the story

    MEL REISNER, AP Sports Writer

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