NEW YORK (AP) -- Arizona couldn't have had much worse of a
shooting performance than it did in the second half Tuesday night,
and the Wildcats (No. 15 ESPN/USA Today; No. 14 AP) still left Madison Square Garden with another victory.
Ivan Radenovic had 22 points and 13 rebounds for Arizona, which
shot 18.5 percent from the field over the final 20 minutes in a
72-65 victory over Louisville in the Jimmy V Classic.
"I'm really proud of how our guys hung in there despite our
miserable shooting in the second half," Arizona coach Lute Olson
said. "That is something we have been trying to get across to them
that if you play defense you can survive something like that.
"Three weeks ago we could not have won a game like this,"
The Wildcats (6-1) had a 44-35 halftime lead then missed 17 of
their first 18 shots from the field as they lost, then retook the
lead. Chase Budinger hit Arizona's first shot of the second half
for an 11-point lead, then after 17 consecutive misses, Mustafa
Shakur hit a 3 with 9:40 left to give the Wildcats a 54-50 lead.
"In the second half we were shooting after making one or two
passes and that's not what we do," Radenovic said. "But
defensively we started to take away their 3-point shot and then we
played well when they went inside."
It was the first time this season the Wildcats scored less than
84 points in a game.
Juan Palacios had 15 points for the Cardinals (2-2), who managed
to take a 50-49 lead with 13:18 left on a drive by Terrence
Williams, but the comeback -- and foul trouble -- seemed to wear down
Louisville which was unable to complete a lot of plays inside.
"I am really happy with my guys," Louisville coach Rick Pitino
said. "I see great potential in this basketball team and if we
continue to grow we are going to be an outstanding basketball team.
I am not happy with the loss, but I am happy with our potential."
Radenovic made two free throws with 10:30 to play to give the
Wildcats the lead for good at 51-50, and despite never regaining
the shooting touch that had them making 50 percent in the first
half, they extended the lead to as much as 10 points.
The win gave Arizona a 5-1 record in Madison Square Garden since
"Our guys love the environment, love the enthusiasm," Olson
said. "The crowds here have been great and we get support because
I think people enjoy watching our team because we share the ball
and it looks like they're having fun."
The loss gave the Big East an 0-2 mark on the night as No. 22
Oklahoma State beat No. 21 Syracuse 72-68 in the opening game.
Budinger and Jawann McClellan each had 17 points for Arizona,
which shot 34 percent overall (18-for-53), including 18.5 percent
(5-for-27) in the second half.
Williams had 13 points and 10 rebounds for Louisville, which
outrebounded Arizona 47-36, but was called for 29 personal fouls to
12 for the Wildcats.
Jerry Smith hit a 3-pointer with 10:03 left in the first half to
give Louisville a 24-21 lead. Arizona then went on a 20-2 run which
was capped by two 3s by McClellan.
The Cardinals went 1-for-7 from the field during the run that
lasted 4:17 and committed four of their seven first-half turnovers.
Louisville was 4-for-17 from 3-point range in the first half
then changed its focus to inside, going 2-for-4 from beyond the arc
in the second half.
The game was the collegiate debut for Louisville forward Derrick
Caracter. The 6-foot-8 freshman was suspended for the first three
games of the season after receiving benefits from a family friend
in the summer of 2005 before his senior year in high school.
Caracter lost 50 pounds since arriving at Louisville in August
weighing 318 pounds.
Caracter had nine points on 3-for-8 shooting and grabbed seven
rebounds in 11 minutes before fouling out with 9:03 to play.
"He has great potential," Pitino said. "He has a bad habit of
reaching in all of the time instead of moving his feet. ... Once he
learns to play defense and his defense catches up to his offense he
can be one of the most lethal weapons any coach can have. He has
fabulous hands. He is a good passer. He is very agile for a big man
and he has great potential. He has to put in his defensive work and
it is going to take time because he has never played defense
The Jimmy V Classic raises money for The V Foundation for Cancer
Research, which was founded in 1993 by the late Jim Valvano and
ESPN. The foundation has raised more than $60 million with the
Jimmy V Classic donating more than $1 million.
On Tuesday, it was announced the Classic, which moved to Madison
Square Garden in 2003, will continue to be played there through
Valvano, who led North Carolina State to the national
championship in 1983, died of cancer in May 1993, just two months
after delivering his famous "Don't Give Up, Don't Ever Give Up"
speech at the ESPY Awards.