Cats run past EA All-Stars

Most expected that Arizona would not need their "A" game to beat the EA Sports All-Stars. It was a good thing too. Although the Wildcats cruised to a 117-95 win, they played sloppy and at times out of control.

The Wildcats shot 53.8% from the field and it was a good thing because they turned the ball over 25 times. A lot of the turnovers were the result of the Wildcat freshmen trying to make spectacular plays.

"The freshmen contributed considerably," Wildcat coach Lute Olson said of the turnovers. "12 turnovers out of the three freshmen, we'll get that straightened out."

Not all the news from the newcomers was bad news. Hassan Adams scored 27 points, while Andre Iguodala added 14 points and six rebounds. While the duo put up great offensive numbers, they struggled at times defensively and with their wind.

"You get tired playing that press, going up and down the court," confessed Adams.

EA Sports had difficulties with the Wildcats' pressure defense, but still managed 95 points. Former Wyoming standout Brett McFall had 29 points, on 9-of-13 three-point shooting.

"There is still a lot of things we need to do defensively," said Jason Gardner. "We gave up 95 points, so we have to step it up on the defensive end."

The up-tempo Cats were effective early. Following a Jason Gardner finger roll on the first possession, the full court press was on. The Cats used a few different variations of pressure defense that kept EA Sports off balance.

Arizona took every available opportunity to push the ball up the court. Gardner found Hassan Adams running the floor and his bounce pass led to an easy tomahawk slam by the true freshman. Anderson stole the ensuing inbounds play and his bucket gave the Wildcats an early 12-4 lead.

The Cats kept running, no matter who was in the game. Even with four non-starters on the ,the Wildcats were able to pad the lead. Joe Vogel hit a three to cut it to 21-13, but the fast break Cats simply ran at will on EA and when Chris Rodgers nailed a 17-foot pull-up jumper, the Cats lead 30-13.

As good as the Cats were, they couldn't put the visitors away. An Adams three gave the Wildcats a 20-point lead at 39-19, but EA Sports would not stay down. Arizona got sloppy with the ball and went cold from the field. When former Kansas forward Nick Bradford hit a turnaround jumper the Wildcat lead was trimmed to just 14, 41-37.

Gardner ended the mini-run with a three of his own. The highly competitive senior scored eight of the next eleven Arizona points to put the Cats up 54-33 with just under 4:oo left in the half.

It was all Adams to open the second half of play. After EA's Joe Smith opened the second half scoring, Adams poured in the next seven straight points to boost the UA lead to 69-43. Adams wasn't done, following a pair of EA buckets, Adams drained a three from the corner to score all ten of Arizona's points before the television timeout.

"I'm not out there counting points," Adams said of the burst. "I'm just out there to help the team win."

EA wouldn't be deterred, but could do little to make a dent in the Wildcat lead. Back-to-back threes by Brett McFall cut the lead to 87-69, but that is as close as they'd get until just over 5:00 to play.

The Cats hit the century mark with over 7:00 to go in the game. Gardner hit a three pointer from the top of the key to give the Wildcats a 100-78 lead. Gardner had another steady game with 20 points and seven assists and just one turnover. Fellow senior Ricky Anderson led the club with 12 rebounds and added 14 points.

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