Game Log: Cats tame the "Bull Fighters"

It was one of those maddening games where the Wildcats look good for a bit, then coast and allow an inferior team to make things interesting. The Cats failed to show their killer instinct, but overall they put in an acceptable performance.

1:25 before the tip
First off San Diego has sweet uniforms. They sport a black uni with some cool Columbia blue striping. I'm not sold on the cut of the jersey, so the fashion designer in me gives them a solid "B+".

0:15 before the tip
To set the record straight the Wildcats are playing the University of San Diego, not to be confused with UC San Diego, San Diego State, Cal State San Diego or the San Diego Clippers. they are a private school that plays in the Gonzaga Conference, better known as the West Coast Conference.

19:10 left in the first
First Wildcat score, a Mustafa Shakur steal and dunk. So much for the bad defense against Sonoma State.

18:24 left in the first
Salim Stoudamire drains a three from the top of the key. To quote Wesley Snipes in White Men Can't Jump "It's pretty, it sooooo pretty".

17:48 left in the first
Cats press for the first time. It takes four passes, but USD breaks it. They fail to score and Arizona takes control.

15:34 left in the first
The first TV time-out. Arizona looks okay. They lead 7-2, but have had a few ugly shots. Radenovic is aggressive. He was fouled on a make and had a nice, strong runner but could not finish. If the Cats were hitting, this thing could already be a double-figure lead.

14:44 left in the first
Brice Vounang has both San Diego baskets, and both were identical bank shots from about 10-feet out. Both were from the exact same spot on the floor. Guess we know where he feels comfortable.

12:21 left in the first
San Diego went on a 6-0 run to cut things to two, but since then Channing Frye has scored two in a row. On the last one Ivan drove the lane and dished to Frye under the basket. The pass caught the senior by surprise, but caught San Diego more off guard. Frye bobbled the ball, but even after the brief fumble he had enough time to go up and make an uncontested lay-up.

11:41 left in the first
Vounang makes the exact same bank shot, only this time he uses a turnaround to get separation from his defender. He was the WCC Newcomer of the Year last season, and that move has to be a large reason why.

10:56 left in the first
Mustafa Shakur was about two inches from making back-to-back three pointers. Since the N.I.T. is using an experimental three-point line that is six inches further, Shakur was over the line. With the old line it would have been his second three. As it is the Wildcats lead19-10.

10:32 left in the first
Vounang attempts a shot from the top of the key and misses badly. Maybe he should stick to his baseline bank shot. He's 3-3 there, 0-fer elsewhere BTW he has six of USD's 10 points.

9:02 left in the first
Arizona is playing smothering defense, where is the unit that gave up 80 points to D-II Sonoma State? Right now the Toreros are on pace to score 40.

8:12 left in the first
Shakur just scored on a sweet drive to the hoop .He got the lay-in to fall and drew the foul. Right now he has nine points. Somewhere J.P. Prince has to be considering his chances to start next year just got better if NBA scouts are seeing what he's seeing.

Jawann McClellan makes his Wildcat regular season debut.

6:52 left in the first
A band member just had a Peter Brady moment. He screamed "What?" after a no call. To say that his voice cracked a little bit is an understatement. Welcome to puberty buddy.

6:06 left in the first
Vounang just attempted another shot away from "his spot". He missed so badly that the ball got stuck between the rim and the glass.

Someone at courtside commented that Vounang looked "like he's 40." Maybe they don't keep very good records in Cameroon. Maybe basketball players in Cameroon are like Cuban baseball players, just add 5-10 years to the listed age.

4:58 left in the first
Vounang made a bank shot from a new spot on the floor. He used a spin and banked one home from the left hand side this time. The shot just ended a 6:49 scoreless streak for the Toreros. I'm not exaggerating, they did not score for almost seven minutes. BTW Vounang has scored eight of their 12 points.

4:45 left in the first
Radenovic just scored six straight points for the Wildcats. He knocked down a foul shot, made a tough lay-up and drained a three. I guess he is getting used to the American game.

3:40 left in the first
Corey Belser just scored on back-to-back steals and lay-ins. Lute was not happy. The team does not score for almost seven minutes and Belser gets two identical buckets in less than 20 seconds.

1:46 left in the first
A Ross DeRogatis three-pointer gives the Toreros a 7-0 run. They still trail 33-19.

40.8 left in the first
Frye blocks a shot so viciously that it almost killed a cheerleader in the front row.

0:00 left in the first
San Diego has the last possession of the half, but fails to even get a shot off. At the half Arizona leads 41-23. Anyone want to place bets on San Diego not surpassing Sonoma State's 80 points?

19:09 left in the second
San Diego opened the second half with a 4-2 run and forced Arizona into a time-out with full court pressure. apparently someone forgot to tell San Diego that just because you change sides you don't get to play like the team who went that way in the first half.

15:29 left in the second
Since the state of California recently passed an English only initiative, does that mean that San Diego can no longer be the Toreros. From here on out they will be referred to as the "Bull Fighters".

BTW Wilbur just sat next to me and read the screen. He seems to have approved the story you are now reading.

13:44 left in the second
Things are not going well for Hassan Adams. He has been held scoreless and is getting no help from the refs. He was hammered on a difficult lay-up attempt. Despite getting nailed and lying on the floor there was no call.

13:38 left in the second
Shakur almost gets a steal with Adams still on the floor. The crowd goes nuts. The defense has been solid all night long and the fans are stoked. They keep chanting "Defense-Defense". This is as loud as the building has been all night, and really all season.

13:31 left in the second
Mohamed Tangara makes his regular season Wildcat debut.

12:38 left in the second
Adams finally hits a shot. Needless to say he is a little pumped up.

11:23 left in the second
Adams gets the bucket and the foul. He misses the foul shot, but he's starting to heat up. I'm betting he gets to double-figures by the time the night is done.

10:18 left in the second
Vounang scores again, somehow the Bull Fighters trail by just 16.

9:53 left in the second
Vounang makes two free throws and the lead is down to 14. Not surprisingly Lute puts Mustafa Shakur back in. You get the feeling he won't get a whole lot of rest this year.

6:02 left in the second
Arizona leads by only 13. What is really weird is that the defense is fine, it is the offense that is struggling. Channing Frye has just four points. Adams is up to six. The rebounding totals are up, but that is due to a lot of offensive rebounds. At this stage Radenovic has nine boards to lead the team. Frye has eight, while Shakur and Adams each have seven.

3:09 left in the second
Radenovic is the first Wildcat with double figure rebounds. Three others have eight.

2:46 left in the second
Brandon Gay just fouled out. He scored 15 of his 17 points in the second half. He was a major reason that the Bull Fighters are hanging around.

1:32 left in the second
Avi Fogel just hit a three pointer to trim the Wildcat lead to 74-62. Someone forgot to tell them that they should have just been content living in San Diego and getting a free trip to Tucson. Instead they are keeping Wildcat bench players from getting some valuable playing time.

0:39.4 left in the second
Band starts the "go start the bus" chat. Maybe you skip that one when the opposing team is outplaying you in the second half. Frankly, San Diego played much better than any one expected.

0:00 left in the second
Cats win, but I don't feel great about this one.


Just realized the Wildcats never trailed and were never trailed by less than 10 after the 9:41 mark of the first half. The final margin of victory was not very impressive, but after going up 10-2 the game was never really in doubt. You want the Cats to put teams away, but realistically they had this game the whole way.

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