Midnight Madness: Scrimmage ends in tie

It was almost fitting that the Wildcats played to a tie. It was a night of celebration, Midnight Madness, the start of the college basketball season. Lute Olson pitted the seniors and juniors against the freshmen and sophomores and when the smoke cleared the two teams played to a tie.

The upperclassmen erased a nine-point deficit and had a chance to win the game in the final seconds. Salim Stoudamire drove the lane, but had the ball knocked away by Ivan Radenovic. Radenovic lost the ball for a moment, but regained in time for a half court attempt that was nowhere near close to being good.

The 20:00 scrimmage ended in a 42-42 tie.

The opening moments saw the two squads duking it out bucket for bucket. Hassan Adams got the scoring started on a nice slam-dunk. Kirk Walters answered with a very nice move on the inside. The teams swapped buckets and soon it was 8-8.

The freshmen/sophomores took their first lead of the contest when Mustafa Shakur hit one of two free throws, but an Isaiah Fox bucket a minute later netted the game at 10 and began an 11-4 run that put the seniors/juniors up 19-14.

Beau Muhlbach was actually the star of the run scoring all four of his points. Salim Stoudamire capped it off with a three pointer, his only basket of the scrimmage, to give the upperclassmen their biggest lead of the contest.

The young players did a terrific job on Stoudamire. The senior guard was playing the point and doing a nice job distributing the ball, but had trouble getting his shot off, especially from the outside.

"They've obviously played with Salim a lot," Lute Olson said. "They knew not to give him any looks from the outside."

The youngsters stormed right back. Two Shakur three pointers and another Walters' bucket put them up 22-19.

Shakur led all scorers with 14 points, including a trio of three pointers. He was able to get inside the lane and score from both inside and out. He had a great shake and bake move that led to an easy lay-in and also scored on a nice runner.

Leading 29-27, the youngsters went on a 9-2 run and extended the lead to 36-27 on an Ivan Radenovic tip-in. All told Radenovic had nine points.

Just when it looked like the older players were in for a bit of embarrassment, the veterans stormed back scoring nine in a row and 13 of the next 15 scores. Matt Brase nailed a three pointer, Stoudamire hit a pair of free throws and Chris Rodgers downed a pull-up jumper before Adams dunked to tie the game at 38.

Jawann McClellan hit two free throws to take the lead 40-38, but missed two a few moments later that would have put them ahead 42-40. After the miss the older Cats took the lead when Stoudamire lobbed a perfect pass to Adams for another dunk.

The younger Wildcats had the ball and could have run the clock all the way down to zero, but rushed to get a shot off. The ploy worked and Radenovic tied the game at 42 on a jumper.

For the most part the freshmen were quiet on the offensive end, but McClellan was the exception. He started off a bit slow, but finished with 10 points. More impressive was his two blocks. He caught up with Muhlbach on a fastbreak, blocking him from behind. Later he was matched up with Frye on a switch and swatted the center's jumpshot as it left the big man's hand.

The upperclassmen had balanced scoring. Adams and Frye each scored 10 points, while Fox chipped in eight.

The Cats will practice for real on Saturday and Olson promised a two-hour and 25 minute practice.

NOTES:

*Mohamed Tangara has a slight muscle pull in his leg that affected his running and jumping. He was not much of a factor on offense or the boards.

*Jesus Verdejo had his left wrist wrapped. According to Olson he strained a "ligament-type thing" in the weight room when he tried to catch a weight that had slipped. The strain is not expected to cause him to miss any time.

*Although Matt Babcock had been ruled ineligible, he sat on the bench and signed autographs.

BOX SCORE

Seniors/Juniors

Hassan Adams 10 pts.
Channing Frye 10 pts.
Isaiah Fox 8 pts.
Salim Stoudamire 5 pts.
Beau Muhlbach 4 pts.
Matt Brase 3 pts.
Chris Rodgers 2 pts.
Brett Breilmaier 0 pts.

Freshmen/Sophomores

Mustafa Shakur 14 pts.
Jawann McClellan 10 pts.
Ivan Radenovic 9 pts.
Kirk Walters 6 points
Jesus Verdejo 3 pts.
Mohamend Tangara 0 pts.
Daniel Dillon 0 pts.


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