19 out of 20: Cats win another Fiesta Bowl Classic

Arizona's suffocating defense set the tone in an 84-71 win over Richmond in the finals of the Fiesta Bowl Classic at McKale Center.

The UA converted just three of its first 10 shots from the field, but it also forced five Richmond turnovers with its pesky press. Ivan Radenovic scored eight of Arizona's first 16 points, including a three-pointer that capped a 12-2 Wildcat run.

Second-shot opportunities were also instrumental in jump-starting the UA offense. Bret Brielmaier snagged an offensive board, and two passes later Mustafa Shakur converted a three that gave Arizona a 19-9 lead.

Salim Stoudamire drained another three of an offensive rebound as the UA built a 24-9 lead. Meanwhile, Richmond could get nothing going offensively. It didn't reach double figures until the 7:25 mark of the first half. A Chris Rodgers three gave Arizona a 27-11 advantage.

Richmond got into the lane on a couple consecutive possessions in the waning moments of the half to trim the Wildcat margin to 27-21, but a deep Stoudamire three stemmed the Spider run with 4:30 left. Radenovic was the story. He tallied 14 points and six boards at the half, and Arizona entered the locker room up 42-26.

Richmond turned in a couple successful early possessions, but then the Wildcats rolled off the eight quick points. However, they then lost a turnover in transition that led to a Spider three-point play and technical foul on Radenovic. As a result, the five-point possession trimmed the UA advantage to 50-35, and momentarily helped to keep the game in reach.

Any hopes of a dramatic rally were short-lived. The UA built a 20-point lead in quick fashion and pretty much coasted down the stretch.

Rodgers scored a career-high tying 20 points. Ravenovic and Stoudamire added 16 apiece.

The Wildcats held Richmond to less than 40 percent shooting from the floor and registered a double-digit steal tally for the third straight game.

Arizona has won the Fiesta Bowl Classic 19 of 20 times. In the consolation game, Eastern Washington upset Butler 67-62.

The Wildcats open Pac-10 play at home against 10-1 ASU Sunday afternoon.

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