9:30 PM ET, December 8, 2005
McKale Center, Tucson, Arizona
TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) -- Hassan Adams wants the ball at crunch time. The way he played against Northern Arizona showed why.
The senior guard scored 21 points and pulled down two of his eight rebounds in the final seconds, helping Arizona (No. 25 ESPN/USA Today, No. 24 AP) outlast the Lumberjacks 75-66 on Thursday night.
"We had to come up and want it at the end," said Adams, who had 15 points in the second half. "Every time I step on the floor I want to step up. I have to produce energy or whatever they need."
Freshman Marcus Williams had a season-high 17 points for the Wildcats (3-3), while Ivan Radenovic had 14 points and 11 rebounds and Kirk Walters added 13 points.
J.P. Prince, another freshman, had a season-high 10 assists, many of them at crucial points of a closer game than anyone expected.
The Wildcats have struggled this season, falling from No. 9 to 15th to 24th in the AP poll in successive weeks, and coach Lute Olson was anxious to see Adams produce from start to finish.
"He had a really good second half," Olson said. "That has unfortunately been his pattern of miserable first halves and great second halves. We need 40 minutes out of him."
Kelly Golob was 5-of-10 on 3-pointers and had 23 points for the Lumberjacks (4-5), who were only four points down late in the game. Ruben Boykin Jr. added 14 points and Kyle Landry had 12.
"I think that we got better tonight as a team," Golob said. "This is the first game that we played 40 minutes hard, and we were the aggressors."
Golob's final 3-pointer got the Lumberjacks within 70-66 with 1:31 to play. Steven Sir, who made three of his first five 3-pointers, missed his last three attempts.
Adams, who rebounded two of the misses, made five free throws down the stretch to extend Arizona's winning streak over its former Border Conference rival to 22 straight games and leave Northern Arizona winless in 17 games against ranked opponents.
In practice this week, Olson shelved the four-perimeter-player offense, which relied on outside shooting, in favor of a three-perimeter, two-big man approach. Arizona came in shooting 39 percent and improved slightly this time, to 43.3 percent (29-of-67).
Williams gave Arizona a 53-46 lead with a dunk on a pass from Prince with 10:45 to go.
"He is gifted," Williams said of his classmate. "He had 10 assists. That is phenomenal for a freshman. You have to keep your eye on him, because if you don't he will hit you in the face with the ball."
But the Lumberjacks silenced the capacity crowd of 14,545 with a 7-0 run to tie it at 53 with 8:38 left on a layup by Landry and a 3-pointer and fadeaway by Golob.
Arizona's athleticism took over as Radenovic had a three-point play and a 3-pointer during a 15-4 run that carried the Wildcats to a 70-59 lead with 2:34 to play.
"I'm proud of our guys," Northern Arizona coach Mike Adras said. "They really came to play a determined game. They followed what we talked about on the bus ride down the hill here. I said we wanted to keep Arizona below 80 points and match their field goals made."
Team Stat Comparison
|FG Made-Attempted||25-60 (.417)||29-67 (.433)|
|3P Made-Attempted||8-23 (.348)||4-22 (.182)|
|FT Made-Attempted||8-11 (.727)||13-18 (.722)|
|Fouls (Tech/Flagrant)||19 (0/0)||13 (0/0)|
|» Dec 8, 2005||@ARIZ 75, NAU 66||Recap|