Balanced Attack Leads Men's Basketball to Exhibition Win
Nov. 4, 2001
TUCSON, Ariz. - The University of Arizona men's basketball team shot 53.2 percent from the field and placed five players in double figures to earn a 112-96 win over the EA Sports All-Stars Sunday evening at McKale Center.
The Wildcats, who at times used a three-guard lineup, repeatedly used its quickness and accurate shooting to race to the 16-point win. Arizona connected on 41-of-77 (.532) attempts in the game to stretch the lead to as many as 18 points in the second half. EA Sports never got closer than six points over the game's final 17 minutes.
Leading the way for Arizona was freshman center Isaiah Fox. The Santa Monica, Calif., native finished with 18 points and 11 rebounds and was 6-of-7 from the floor in 23 minutes. Twelve of his 18 points came in the first half, including seven points in the first four minutes as the Wildcats jumped out to a 10-point lead with just over 13 minutes to play.
Bolstered by strong perimeter play all night, Arizona got 20 points off the bench from freshman Will Bynum, who connected on 6-of-9 shots from the floor and added four treys. Bynum's play fell right in step with the starting UA guards, who used their speed to force the tempo all night long. Junior Jason Gardner scored 20 points and added eight assists, while backcourt mate Salim Stoudamire added six points and solid defensive play. All told, the three UA guards tallied 43 points, 12 assists and four steals.
Forwards Luke Walton and Rick Anderson showed their versatility, combining for 40 points on an array of inside and outside scoring. The juniors hit 19-of-30 shots from the field and added 19 rebounds, including eight offensive boards.
Despite playing as many as four freshmen at a time, Arizona was able to consistently keep the EA Sports All-Stars off balance. One key first-half stretch saw the freshmen rotation of Bynum, Stoudamire, Fox and Latimore, along with Anderson, extend a two-point Arizona lead to nine with just under four minutes to play. Seven of the 11 points in the run were scored by freshmen.
EA Sports was led by Shannon Taylor, who tallied 23 points and six assists. Former Arizona standout Justin Wessel scored 17 points and added six rebounds in his first return appearance in McKale Center.
Arizona opens the 2001-02 season against Maryland on Nov. 8 at the Coaches vs. Cancer IKON Classic in New York City. Tip-off is approximately 9 p.m. EST and can be seen on ESPN2.