R & R Boys lead the Cats to win

The key to the Wildcats win against Richmond was the same it has been in their last two victories...defense. However, you need the offense as well. Ivan Radenovic and Chris Rodgers supplied both.

The first eight U of A points came from off the bench as Radenovic and Rodgers scored four each. Each team had four turnovers at the fifteen-minute mark in the first half. Channing Frye gained Arizona their first lead in the game at the 12:52 mark lifting them 10-8. Radenovic then doubled the lead hitting a big three pointer.

Arizona continued to dominate after three pointers from Salim Stoudamire and Mustafa Shakur. The Cats went on a big 20-3 run over the Spiders. Great defense by every Wildcat on the court helped hold the Spiders to only nine points in the first ten minutes.

Richmond started to turn things around by going on a 11-5 run but a Stoudamire was able to stop it after he drained a long three. Radenovic then followed up with a big steal and scored two in the point to give U of A a ten point lead 33-23. Radenovic came up big again by hitting a three-pointer and keeping the lead at ten points for Arizona.

At the half the Cats led 42-26. Radenovic was on a roll with fourteen points and seven boards. Arizona was only shooting thirty eight percent at the half but were six for fourteen from behind the arch. They were also going into the second being very affective on the boards with 27 rebounds.

Shakur got the Cats off to a good start in the second by hitting two consecutive threes. Radenovic began to loose his concentration in the second half after he committed a technical foul for throwing the ball. Rodgers continued to be consistent by hitting two consecutive threes and lifting Arizona 58-40.

A big steal by Rodgers and follow up dunk by Stoudamire made the game 66-44. Arizona took a twenty five point lead with nine minutes left but Richmond refused to go down without a fight. The Spiders went on a big 12-2 run that was finally stopped after Rodgers nailed a three pointer which gave the Cats another twenty point lead.

With the lead back at a good amount coach Lute Olson decided to give some of the younger guys some playing time by bringing in Jesus Verdejo, Jawann McClellan, and Daniel Dillon. The crowd went nuts when Olson brought in his grandson Matt Brase and allowed him to hit his first and only two points of the game.

Arizona closed out the game 84-71 with great defense and the outstanding scoring from Radenovic and Rodgers. Frye picked up the Fiesta Bowl Classic most valuable player and Lute Olson picked up Fiesta Bowl Classic championship number nineteen. Rodgers closed out the game with a career high twenty points. He also snagged nine rebounds (2 offensive), four assists, and three steals.

Radenovic left the game with sixteen points and thirteen rebounds (four offensive). Radenovic played much like he did earlier in the season. He played aggressive and wasn't scared to get right into the middle of things.

Radenovic led the team in the first half and Rodgers took over in the second. If Chris Rodgers continues to play the way he has the last few games he could be Arizona's breakthrough star. He has proved himself time and again in the last three four games. Rodgers is the man coach Olson turns to when he needs to get things done.

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