No. 18 Memphis Loses 79-71 to No. 9 Arizona in Fiesta Bowl Classic
Tigers suffer third defeat of season.
Dec. 20, 2006
TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) - Chase Budinger and Ivan Radenovic led a second-half surge that lifted No. 9 Arizona to a 79-71 victory over No. 18 Memphis in the Fiesta Bowl Classic on Wednesday night.
Budinger scored 15 of his 18 points in the second half when Radenovic had 12 of his 18 as the Wildcats (9-1) erased a five-point deficit to win their ninth straight game in their first meeting with a nationally ranked opponent this season.
Mustafa Shakur led the Wildcats with 23 points and had six rebounds and five assists.
Jeremy Hunt led the Tigers (8-3) with 21 points, including 4-of-9 from 3-point range. Andre Allen added 15 points and Kareem Cooper had 11 for Memphis.
Joey Dorsey, the Tigers' big forward, had eight points and five rebounds but played only 18 minutes and fouled out with 3:41 to play.
Arizona went 24-for-31 from the free throw line compared with 7-for-10 for Memphis.
After going 6-for-11 from 3-point range in the first half, the Tigers missed their first 10 from beyond the arc in the second half.
"We quit penetrating the zone," Allen said. "We were just passing the ball around the horn and that hurt us. We should have kept doing what we were doing in the first half, and that's penetrating the zone and making open shots."
Down 38-33 at halftime, the Wildcats outscored Memphis 22-8 to start the second half. Radenovic had two three-point plays in the run, and his two free throws gave Arizona a 55-46 lead with 13:13 to play.
Antonio Anderson's driving layup cut it to 58-55 with 9:54 to play, but the Wildcats scored the next eight points to go up 66-55 on Daniel Dillon's layup with 7:41 left.
Cooper's three-point play on a rebound basket cut Arizona's lead to 75-71 with 2:05 to play, but two free throws by Budinger and two by Shakur in the final 1:33 sealed the victory.
Consecutive dunks by the 6-foot-9, 260-pound Dorsey gave the Tigers a 33-27 lead and they were up five at the half. But Arizona caught up in a hurry as Budinger hit a 3-pointer, then a Memphis turnover resulted in a fastbreak dunk by Jawann McClellan tied it at 38 1:12 into the half.
Radenovic's three-point play with 17:10 left put the Wildcats ahead 43-42, their first lead since it was 4-2.
The Fiesta Bowl Classic had been a four-team tournament for the past 21 years, but the format was changed to make it a one-game matchup of elite programs.
Allen was 3-for-3 and Hunt 2-for-2 from 3-point range in the first half.
Memphis coach John Calipari was critical of the effort shown by some of his players but said the game was a learning experience.
"This is what we are - a young team that's still learning, that I'm learning about," Calipari said. "Over the long haul, this team can be a good team. We're just OK right now."