LA-Lafayette 69

(4-4, 1-4 away)

(4) Arizona 72

(8-1, 7-1 home)

    9:30 PM ET, December 30, 2003

    McKale Center, Tucson, Arizona

    1 2 T
    ULL 32 3769
    #4ARIZ 40 3272

    Cats capture Fiesta Bowl Classic

    TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) -- Andre Iguodala wasn't the designated shooter on Arizona's final possession of a wild game with Louisiana-Lafayette. He got the ball because center Channing Frye was covered.

    It turned out to be the break the fourth-ranked Wildcats needed.

    Iguodala hit a 3-pointer from the corner with 9 seconds remaining, and Arizona escaped an upset in its holiday tournament with a 72-69 victory over the Ragin' Cajuns on Tuesday night.

    "I was thinking about getting open and getting the shot up," Iguodala said. "I have faith in my team to get the offensive rebound if I missed, but when the shot left my hand I knew it was good."

    Mustafa Shakur threw an inbounds pass across half the court for the shot that broke a tie created when Dwayne Mitchell dunked at the other end with 44 seconds to go.

    "They had their whole defense to the ball side (blocking out Frye)," coach Lute Olson said. "Thank goodness Andre screened for it and Mustafa delivered."

    The Cajuns' Brad Boyd missed a 3-point attempt in the final seconds, and Chris Cameron's putback was late and rolled over the rim.

    "I kind of hesitated with the shot, and Frye was jumping right there," said Boyd, who made only three of his tournament-record 17 3-point attempts. "I felt like it was a good shot, but it just didn't go in."

    Olson picked up his 300th home victory (300-30) and 18th title in the Fiesta Bowl Classic's 19 years. It was Olson's 699th win in 31 years as a coach at Long Beach State, Iowa and Arizona.

    He has never lost in the event. The Wildcats were upset by Mississippi State in the 2000 championship, but Olson was attending to his cancer-stricken wife.

    Hassan Adams had 23 points and 14 rebounds for the Wildcats (8-1), who won their seventh straight, and Iguodala, who had a triple-double in Sunday's 107-91 win over Liberty, finished with 20 points, nine rebounds and five assists.

    Louisiana-Lafayette's Antoine Landry had a career-high 20 points, going 6-for-10 on 3-pointers. Brian Hamilton and Mitchell each scored 11 for the Cajuns (4-4).

    Louisiana-Lafayette coach Jesse Evans, Olson's assistant from 1988-97, had his team prepared for the first meeting between the programs. Louisiana-Lafayette rattled the Wildcats, forcing them into a season-high 23 turnovers, and led 67-65 on Landry's last 3-pointer with 3:38 left.

    In a 20-second span, Frye and Iguodala each made a free throw to tie it, and Arizona regained the lead, 69-67, with 1:15 to play when Adams got a defensive rebound, raced to the other end and dunked off Iguodala's thread-the-needle pass through the lane.

    "It was a good game from my perspective," Evans said. "We're a pretty good basketball team, but we realize we're playing one of the top teams in the country."

    The Cajuns outscored Arizona 19-1 in a run that began with 1:16 left in the first half, turning a 40-28 deficit into a 47-41 lead on Landry's 3-pointer.

    But the Wildcats regrouped after a timeout.

    Ivan Radenovic put back a miss by Iguodala with 14:56 left, Iguodala buried a 3-pointer 51 seconds later and Adams shot the Wildcats into a 48-47 lead with a putback with 12:46 left.

    The lead changed hands three more times before Arizona's Chris Rodgers broke a 52-52 tie with a 3-pointer with 9:44 left.

    Iguodala had a three-point play and Adams a 3-pointer to cap an 11-2 run that gave the Wildcats a 61-54 lead with 8:03 to go.

    "When games get close like that, you have to pull it off," Adams said. "It comes down to who wants it more at the end. This'll get us ready for the conference."

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    2003-04 Season

    » Dec 30, 2003 @ARIZ 72, ULL 69Recap