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Cats run by Team Nike

Seven players scored in double figures as the Wildcats ran to a 116-91 win over Team Nike. The win comes in the final game of the exhibition season as the Wildcats now turn their attention to the season opener Monday night against Northern Arizona.<BR> <A href="">News, Notes and Photos</A>

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Andre Iguodala stole the show. The Wildcat wing missed a triple-double by two assists as he scored 23 points and grabbed 12 rebounds.

"Andre is 6-6 ½, maybe 6-7, but with his wingspan it's like he's 6-11 or bigger," confessed Wildcat coach Lute Olson.

The Wildcats got great play from the point guard position. Mustafa Shakur, the true freshman continues to dazzle. He dished out eight assists, but more impressive was his shooting. Shakur, whose jump shot is unorthodox to say the least, was 8-10 from the field and scored 19 points.

"Mustafa (Shakur) played a very good game with eight assists and only two turnovers," Olson said. "Overall, we had a 3-to-1 assist-to-turnover ratio, which is very hard to beat."

Sophomore Chris Rodgers was very impressive as well. Rodgers scored 15 points and had six assists without a turnover. He was also the passer on three of the best plays of the night. He tossed an alley-oop to Iguodala that got the crowd going nuts. A few minutes later he had a behind-the-back pass to Iguodala and an around the neck dish to a streaking Channing Frye.

"Chris Rodgers gave us a spark off the bench," Iguodala said. "He had a really good game tonight."

Team Nike got off to a fast start. After playing the likes of UConn, Michigan State and Syracuse, the veteran squad was not intimidated. They scored on their first five possessions, making their first four field goal attempts, building an 11-4 lead following a Boschee three-pointer.

Great defense gave the Wildcats their first lead. Channing Frye blocked Daryl Cunningham in transition then hustled down court where he was rewarded with a perfect pass and a transition dunk. The Cats immediately went to the press and stole the inbounds play. Iguodala missed a three-pointer, but Shakur kept it alive and Hassan Adams laid it in for a 14-13 lead.

Frye was again a beast in the post. The 6-10 junior was 10-14 from the field and scored 20 points.

Arizona led by as many as five, but could not shake Team Nike in the early going. Down 20-15, Nike scored seven of the next nine points and a Cunningham three knotted the score at 22.

Arizona built leads only to see Nike claw back to get within striking distance. Down by as many as 11, a 6-0 run saw Nike trim the lead to 51-46. Arizona scored seven of the next nine, including an awkward buzzer-beating three by Shakur and the Cats took a 58-48 lead into the locker room at the half.

Nike took advantage of sloppy Arizona play in the opening seconds of the second half. Nike scored the first four points before surrendering 12 in a row. Arizona got balanced scoring and a Salim Stoudamire three gave the Cats a 70-52 lead.

The Cats never looked back, running Team Nike off the court. The Wildcats passed the century mark with exactly 6:00 to play and Olson was able to clear his bench for the final 2:00.

Five Nike players scored in double figures, including former New Mexico player Wayland White, who scored 17 and former Kansas Jayhawk Jeff Boschee, who scored 16.

The Cats used a lot of four perimeter sets and even went to a line-up that included Adams and Iguodala at the two forward positions with no true center on the court. What the Cats gave up in size they made up for in quickness. The Wildcats were outrebounded 41-38, but it hardly mattered as the Cats were just too fast up and down the floor.

"This is the quickest team we've ever had," said Olson.

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