It may not have been the prettiest game, but there was still plenty to be excited about after Arizona's 77-75 win over Memphis on Friday.
"We hung in there in a game where a lot of things went against us," Arizona coach Sean Miller said. "Our resiliency, we stepped up at the end and made some big plays. Many times in this tournament that's what's required. It's not the style points that you get, but it's being able to finish the job and make big plays when they count the most, and obviously these three guys (Mayes, Jones, Williams) were responsible for several in the game."
Despite the fact that he finished with 22 points, Memphis did everything it could to try to take Derrick Williams out of the game, something that he expected to happen.
"I knew they were going to do it point they were going to try to take me out of the game just like Cal did. They ran a box and one. I've never seen a box and one on a big man before. So coach is like stay in the corner and let the game come to you.
"So that's what I did tonight. They went a box and one, triangle and two. They had different types of defenses to get me out of the game. They even put a smaller guard on me at points in the game. That's where they started off. I was surprised by that because normally you don't go to that, so your big guys have fouls. "
Memphis was able to go on numerous runs throughout the game, including one that was 13-0 in the second half.
After the game, Lamont Jones said that team did not panic because it simply was not a new situation for it.
"We've been in that situation before," Jones said. "We work on those situations in practice and we just have to have confidence, and we had a lot of confidence tonight in each other as a team and the coaching staff to get us back in the game.
"We just took it minute by minute, war by war. We made our fight back, and at the end of the first half we were up three. And we just came together, kept coming together as the game went on. Whether they were up or we were up, we just kept coming together closer and closer as a team. That's what helped us pull it out tonight."
There were some questions as to whether or not Arizona should have fouled Joe Jackson at the end of the game, but Miller says that he sticks to playing the percentages in those types of situations.
"Well, I'm the same guy that was in this tournament, it seems like 20 years ago, but for our staff it seems like a week ago where we lost to Greg Oden's Ohio State team in a similar play, second round of the tournament, up three, missed a free throw, he let the record reflected not to foul, and Ron Lewis hit about a 25-footer at the buzzer.
"Like all coaches, when you take that medicine, so to speak, we're going to lose a different way the next time. And we almost did here tonight where we fouled, great strategy. Well, we gave up a second shot on the missed free throw, which that's part of the consequences of fouling, and Derrick made a big block.
"I'm not sure what's right, what's wrong. But when we get in that situation, we elect to foul, and we play the percentages from there. To me, I'd rather lose the other way than letting the guy hit that three to put it in overtime, and that's what we did here tonight."
Wildcats talk resiliency after win
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