Game Log: More energy from the fans and Cats

It was a better crowd than the last game. They made more noise and were more behind the team. The Cats responded as well, playing a more inspired game. They never quite put away Richmond, but they were in control for most of the contest.

3:27 before the tip
Richmond is looking old school. They've got red warm-ups with big, wide collars. I could picture the 1979 Houston Rockets sporting that look. Can't see the unis yet, but I'll be sure to have another installment of Mr. Blackwell's uniform report in a bit.

0:00 before the tip
The band interrupts Lute Olson talking with the refs with their "Hi Lute" greeting. Lute took time to wave before resuming his conversation with the officials.

Blackwell report: The Spiders' unis look like they are a combination of the 70's and 2010. They have these stripes that are reminiscent of a 1970's Atlanta Hawk uniform, but they have these strange space-age numbers and lettering. Overall they are kinda cool.

Salim is back in the starting line-up. Lute always talks about how he likes Rodgers' spark off the bench.

19:39 in the first
Richmond comes out in the box-in-one with Salim drawing the extra attention. The Cats penetrate the zone but can't do much with it as the defense collapses.

18:30 in the first
Lute pulls Fox after one minute and replaces him with Radenovic. Ivan gets the bucket and draws the foul on the next possession.

18:20 in the first
1:40 into the game and the teams have combined to make three substitutions.

17:01 in the first
So much for the quick start the Cats wanted. Richmond is swarming on defense and Jerry Wainwright is subbing every stoppage of play. The teams are getting up and down the court, but they aren't scoring. The pace could play to Richmond's advantage if neither team can score much.

16:45 in the first
The Cats have four points and all four have come from reserves. Radenovic and Rodgers have a bucket each.

14:00 in the first
The Spiders just used an alley-oop lob pass against the Cats in the half-court set. When was the last time that happened.

13:47 in the first
The few Richmond fans in attendance are talking smack. It is 8-6 and they are really running it. You have to love their passion, but a two-point lead early in the first is not the time to get confident.

13:06 in the first
The Cats have been pressing all game long to dictate tempo. They just forced a 10 second call. As I type this they stole the ball due to the press.

12:58 in the first
Channing Frye is the first starter to score for the Wildcats. That's right, it took more than 7:00 for a starter to score.

10:59 in the first
It's Ivan Radenovic eight, Richmond eight. The sophomore forward has three field goals, including a three-pointer and a foul shot. It's his best performance since the opener.

10:12 in the first
Bret Brielmaier is seeing quality minutes. If I'm Bret I'm in the weight room and downing as much protein as possible. The bigger he gets the more of an enforcer he can be and that is just what the Cats need. He's a tough kid and already has good size, but another 10 pounds of muscle and he could be a monster down low.

7:45 in the first
Richmond hasn't scored a bucket in ages. They have one free throw in the last 6:15. They just can't buy a bucket. They are missing inside, outside and in between. They are missing easy looks inside and lay-ups. To their credit, the Cats are playing tough defense.

5:51 in the first
Deon Merritt is at the line. He is listed at 5-9, 180. If the dude is a pound under 200 I'd be shocked. In fact my guess is he is closer to 220, than 180. Let's just say he's thick. He's not quite Khalid El Amin big, but he looks more like a fullback than a point guard.

5:17 in the first
Richmond decided to show up. They are on 9-0 run and are back in synch.

4:05 in the first
As Richmond creeps back into this thing, the crowd comes alive. There is a bit more energy tonight. Okay, bingo games have more energy than Tuesday night.

3:06 in the first
After a foul call, Lute and Ivan simultaneously throw their hands in the air then interlace their fingers on top of their heads, keeping their hands on their head to show their disagreement with the call.

1:36 in the first
Radenovic and Frye just ran the break. There is nothing quite as graceful as Ivan Radenovic dribbling in the open court. An even prettier sight is the big man going up for the highlight reel dunk attempt. (BTW he came up very, very short but drew the foul)

44.0 in the first
Merritt carries the ball every time, I mean more so than most college guards. I think the short guy union had that added to the rules to help out those college players a little short in stature. Call it the "equalizer" rule.

13.7 in the first
Cats play for the final shot with just one starter on the floor. Think Lute is trying to make a statement to the starters?

18:00 in the second
How's this for a bit of irony? The first eight points of the half are from Mustafa Shakur and Channing Frye, two players who played a combined 15 minutes in the first half due to foul trouble.

13:29 in the second
Chris Rodgers just exploded. He has eight points in the eight minutes, including two more three-pointers. The best part about it is that he is working within the framework of the offense. He isn't freelancing or over dribbling. He's passing the ball and in turn, getting it right back in a good spot. He's been doing this for three or four games. If he can continue to be an offensive threat the Cats are a whole lot better.

9:51 in the second
Play of the night: Salim gets the ball in transition and jams it home with a one-hand slam.

7:46 in the second
The only person who can stop Ivan Radenovic is Ivan Radenovic. He just picked up his fourth foul. For some reason Lute leaves him in there. Maybe it is the fact he is the team's second high scorer and this game is all but over.

4:32 in the second
Rodgers is feeling it. He drains a three and then plays to the crowd a bit. He pounds his chest, then points to some fans behind the scorer's table. Finally a little flex of the bicep before settling in on defense. Maybe it was a little too much considering the opponent, but it is nice to see C-Ro having fun.

2:18 in the second
Brase misses two free throws. He went scoreless against Eastern Washington and won't have many chances left to score during the Pac-10.

1:10 in the second
Wait! Brase scores on a pretty runner. Too bad the clean-up crew is getting outscored down the stretch. The looked great at the end of the Eastern Washington game.

E-mail Brad at bradallis@msn.com


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