Wildcats Rout Billikens 91-58
Dec 3, 2002
By BOB BAUM
AP Sports Writer
TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) - No matter that No. 1 Arizona routed Saint Louis 91-58 Tuesday night. Wildcats coach Lute Olson was not happy.
The Billikens pulled down 20 offensive rebounds, a subject that will be dealt with in a hurry, Olson promised.
'Tomorrow's practice should be very interesting,' he said. 'We might run rebounding drills for an hour.'
With a team deep in talent and with expectations as high as they come, Olson isn't about to settle for any lapses.
'In the locker room, you would have thought we lost the way the coach was on us,' Arizona's Will Bynum said.
Jason Gardner, off to sizzling start from long range this season, made four of six 3-pointers and scored 16 points for Arizona.
Gardner, one of three senior starters and a preseason all-American, has made 11 of 17 3s in the first three games for the Wildcats (3-0).
'He's really confident right now in his shot,' Olson said.
Channing Frye had 11 points and nine rebounds as five players reached double figures for Arizona. Rick Anderson scored 13, freshman Hassan Adams 10 and Isaiah Fox 10. Freshman Andre Iguodala had eight points and 10 rebounds. Olson praised Iguodala's play in the last five or six minutes and he may have earned himself more playing time.
The coach also wasn't pleased with his team's defensive double-teams at times, saying they were just a bit slow and that led to layups for Saint Louis. But rebounding on the defensive boards was by far his biggest concern.
'If someone's not going to the glass, they're going to get a good view from the bench of somebody else going to the glass,' Olson said. 'That was ridiculous.'
Gardner's performance helped offset an off night for fellow preseason all-American Luke Walton, who was 0-for-5 shooting and scored one point. However, he did have seven assists compared with one turnover.
Walton left the team's last game, Wednesday night against Northern Arizona, in the first half with a sprained ankle, but started Tuesday night and played 19 minutes.
Josh Fisher scored 16 points and Kenny Brown had 10 for the Billikens (1-3), who tried to slow the game down.
Saint Louis handled Arizona's full-court pressure defense better than the Wildcats' first two opponents, but still trailed by 19 points in the first half and never was closer than 16 in the second. The Billikens shot just 36 percent, 29 percent in the second half.
`I'm disappointed that we lost this game by 30. I don't know, I just expected more out of our kids,' Saint Louis coach Brad Soderberg said. 'But I do have to give credit to Arizona. They are just a phenomenal ball club.'
With Salim Stoudamire, last season's Pac-10 freshman of the year, playing for the first time this season, Olson substituted five players at a time early in the game.
'I didn't feel that the first group was putting very good pressure on the ball,' he said. 'I felt we got a lot better pressure on the ball when we came with five fresh guys.'
The persistent pressure and fresh bodies paid off in a 19-4 run that put Arizona up 44-25 with 2:15 left in the half. Iguodala capped the outburst when he was fouled on a 3-pointer and made two of the three free throws.
The Wildcats led 48-31 at the break and stretched it to 61-36 on Gardner's 12-footer with 15:54 to play.
A 13-4 run by the Billikens cut the lead to 65-49 after Chris Braun's rebound basket on a goaltending call against Dennis Latimore with 10:26 to play. After an Arizona timeout, the Wildcats went on a 14-2 surge to make it 79-51 on Iguodala's rebound of his own miss with 4:25 remaining.
Stoudamire, who missed the first two games with a sprained left ankle, made two of six 3-pointers for six points.
'He's such a good shooter, he wanted to get in and show what he could do for us,' Olson said. 'But we don't need to have guys going out looking for their shots. We need to have people moving the ball, and when you have a good shot, everybody on the team is going to know it's a good shot and you should take it.'
Olson used 11 players in the first half, when Gardner scored 11 points, including three of four 3-pointers.
After pestering their first two opponents - Western Kentucky and Northern Arizona - into 54 turnovers, Saint Louis had a comparatively few 16. Arizona committed just nine.