Player of the Game: It's a six pack

The old cliché is that basketball is a team sport. It takes five players on the court to make things work. Never was that more true than in the Wildcats' 96-86 come from behind win over UCLA. Six Wildcats played vital roles in the Cats' huge conference win.

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The Arizona Wildcats found themselves down big at the half and in the early part of the second stanza they could do nothing to chip away at the Bruins big lead. Then came "The Run". The Wildcats went on a 27-2 run and never looked back.

Jason Gardner sparked "The Run", scoring nine points in the 7:07 spurt. Gardner finished the game with 19 points, six assists and three rebounds, after being held to only eight points in the first half.

Gardner had both the shot and the assist of the game. His three-pointer at 9:46 gave Arizona its first and only lead of the game. He sealed the win when he dished to Channing Frye on the breakaway. The Wildcat freshman got the dunk and drew a foul. Frye's free throw put the Cats up four and more importantly sent the crowd in a frenzy.

Walton was also vital in "The Run". Coming off of his triple-double against USC, Walton continued his great all-around play. In "The Run" Walton had four points and three big assists.

Like Gardner, Walton got off to a slow start. But he turned it p a nocth in the second half.

"Luke did not have a good first half at all," said Lute Olson. "He had a great second half. In the second half he got it going."

Walton finished with another very good line - 18 points, seven rebounds and seven assists. He also did a better job defensively in the second half.

Fry was more than just his dunk. The Wildcat freshman thoroughly outplayed the much-hyped Dan Gadzuric. Frye (6 -6 FG/7-7 FT) outscored the potential all-conference player 19-11, outrebounded him 8-5 and got the Bruin big man saddled with foul trouble. Frye was big down the stretch ripping down three huge rebounds in the game's waning minutes.

Long Beach native Rick Anderson came up big against the hometown team. Anderson was "Mr. Hustle" going after every loose ball. He showed great moves in the post dropping jump hooks and short jumpers over Bruin defenders. He also hit two big three-pointers for the Cats, pulled down four rebounds and dished out four big assists.

Salim Stoudamire was huge on both ends of the court. Salim was great from the outside, nailing four-of-six threes, including three in the first half when the Cats were struggling to keep pace with the hot shooting  Bruin. Stoudamire also had a phenomenal defensive game, sparking the Arizona press and making Jason Kapono work for his shots in the second half.

"Salim is so tenacious," Olson said. "He is relentless defensively. Jason (Kapono) tried to take him in low and Salim fronted him aggressively. He didn't let Kapono push him around. He takes a lot of pride in his defense."

Will Bynum did not score in double figures, but he was key in the second half surge. He hit two big threes, provided stellar defense and hit the boards hard.

"Will and Salim hit some of the biggest shots of the game," said Luke Walton.

For their stellar performance, every Wildcat who played is the Performance Fitness Systems Player of the Game.

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