Cats win defensive battle

Arizona beat Marquette 48-43 without the services of Salim Stoudamire. The senior guard was suspended for the week for a failure to meet team responsibilities. Thanks to a great defensive effort and 16 points from Chris Rodgers, the Wildcats won their fourth close game of the year.<BR>

Arizona is 4-1 in games decided by five points or less. The last time Arizona failed to score 50 points in a game came in 1985 against Alabama in the first round of the NCAA tournament.

Arizona won the rebounding battle 38-28 including a key rebound by Hassan Adams in the game's final moments, before hitting the game's winning free-throws. Despite shooting only 34.6% from the field, Arizona was able to prevail on the strength of Chris Rodgers' 16 points. The Cats ability to hold Marquette to 28.8% shooting, and a mere 5-19 performance from Travis Diener proved to be too much for the Golden Eagles.

Marquette failed to convert key free-throws at the end of the game, missing four of their last five attempts. Arizona had the ball up by three points with 0:49 left, and Marquette decided to wait it out. A missed shot followed by Adams rebound propelled the Cats to victory.

Arizona opened the game strong putting a hold on Marquette who scored only three points in the game's first nine minutes as Arizona took a 16-3 lead.

The turning point in the run came when Ivan Radenovic missed a wide open three-point attempt which would have made the score 19-3. Instead, the Golden Eagles were able to pull themselves back into the game trailing by only six points at the half.

Rodgers filled the void left by suspended Salim Stoudamire scoring 16 points with six rebounds, and two steals on the afternoon.

Arizona continued to struggle shooting the ball all day, but their defensive attack slowed for a time in the second half as Marquette was able to take their first lead of the game by a score of 38-36.

Adams and Rodgers came up big in the game with a combined 30 points and eleven rebounds. The pair scored Arizona's last 12 points including Adams four key free-throws down the stretch.

While the overall shooting performance for Arizona was lackluster, they were able to hit four of their 10 three-point attempts. Marquette hit only seven of their 24 attempts.

Isaiah Fox had foul trouble in the second half and was forced to sit down with four fouls with about 14:00 left in the ball game. Fox would return for 1:09 before fouling out with 5:00 left in the game. Despite the limited action he saw, Fox was able to add six rebounds in only 14 minutes.

Arizona had the ball leading by three points with 0:49 left in the game but Marquette decided not to foul. Adams pulled down the strong rebound and was fouled and sunk the game's final free-throws with 0:06 left in the game, and Arizona moved on to win 48-43.


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