Cats pull away in exhibition.

The two veterans started off slow, but got hot and Arizona cruised to a 112-96 win over the EA Sports Southwest All-Stars. Luke Walton and Jason Gardner struggled from the field early, but scored 21 and 17 respectively in the win.

 

Rick Anderson and two freshmen also made huge impacts on the home crowd fans. Anderson had 19 points and seven rebounds, while Will Bynum scored 20. Isaiah Fox added 18 points and 11 rebounds.

Former Wildcat Justin Wessel scored 17 points, and pulled in six rebounds for the EA Sports All-Stars.

The opening moments proved to be the Isaiah Fox show. Before the first timeout the Wildcat freshman center had eight points and three rebounds as the Cats took an early 14-8 lead. Fox used his size and strength to out duel the older EA post players.

The Cats continued to stretch their early lead, going up by as much as twelve. An active Anderson, making his McKale return after redshirrting last season, had a couple of quick buckets, added a block and a rebound.

The EA All-Stars refused to lay down and took advantage of the Wildcat's poor ball management. Suspect transition defense to go on an 18-2 run overtook the Cats and EA pulled out to a 32-27 lead.

Will Bynum then sparked a Wildcat comeback. The freshman from Chicago gave Arizona a 36-34 lead with his second three pointer of the half. He followed with an open court steal and two subsequent free throws, allowing Arizona to lead 38-36.

The Cats continued to stretch the lead, going up by as many as nine, before EA Sports go back into their transition game which remained effective against the young Wildcat defenders.

EA got back within three before the Cats countered with the long ball. Jason Gardner and Will Bynum knocked down back to back threes followed by a Gardner leaner at the end of the first half to take a 60-54 lead into the locker room.

The second half proved to be much easier for the Wildcats. Already up 69-60 Lute Olson went with a three-guard lineup of Bynum, Gardner and Salim Stoudamire. The small lineup worked as Bynum scored down low and Gardner scored eight straight giving the Cats a 79-65 lead.

Former Utah standout Tony Harvey got EA Sports within ten with a three-pointer and Maurice Stillers added another three making it 85-77, but EA would get no closer.

The game hovered around a 10-point differential until the six-minute mark. That's when the Cats began to pull away. Luke Walton scored two straight baskets and the Cats went up 97-81.

EA couldn't manage a comeback despite going to the full court press and the Cats coasted in garbage time to the 16-point win.


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