'Cats Claim Fiesta Bowl Classic Title
Dec. 30, 2002
TUCSON, Ariz. - Luke Walton hopped off the court after re-injuring his troublesome right ankle, and No. 4 Arizona beat Boston University 85-71 Monday night to win its Fiesta Bowl Classic for the 17th time in 18 tries.
Walton, a preseason All-American forward, left the game with 9:44 remaining. It was the fourth time he has injured the ankle this season.
Walton had been sidelined for two weeks, missing two games, before returning for the tournament opener Saturday night.
The Arizona star scored 13 of his 16 points in the first 8:20 of the second half, but he tumbled to the floor beneath the basket after Matt Turner's 3-pointer cut the Terriers' lead to 66-61.
Walton left on his left foot and immediately went to the locker room.
Walton's loss would be a major blow to the Wildcats as they open their Pac-10 season at No. 9 Oregon on Thursday night.
Freshman Hassan Adams scored 17 points on 7-for-9 shooting for Arizona (7-1) and was chosen the tournament MVP. Salim Stoudamire added 12 points, including 3-of-5 3-pointers. Jason Gardner had 11 points and six assists.
Billy Collins and Jason Grochowalski scored 13 apiece for Boston University (5-6). Turner added 11 points.
Arizona had struggled against the Terriers all night, but turned up the defensive pressure after Walton went down and went on a decisive 16-3 run.
Stoudamire sank two 3-pointers and Adams scored six in the outburst. Adams' inside move for a short jumper capped the run and put Arizona up 82-65 with 4:07 remaining.
In the first half, Walton shot 0-for-4 and 3-for-7 from the foul line as Arizona sputtered to a 44-38 lead at the break.
But Walton came out strong in the second half, scoring 11 of Arizona's first 13 points. Still, the Terriers stayed close. Walton's last basket, a 10-foot jumper, put Arizona ahead 66-56. But Collins scored on a drive, then Turner sank the 3-pointer when Walton went down and it was 66-61.
Gardner missed two free throws and Channing Frye missed one of two, and the Wildcats seemed in trouble. But Boston turned the ball over, and Collins was called for an intentional foul on Adams. Adams sank both free throws, then Stoudamire sank a 3-pointer and the Wildcats were off and running.
Adams' 3-pointer, followed by his inside basket on a lob pass, started an 11-2 run that put Arizona up 25-17 on Will Bynum's inside basket with 5:53 to play in the first half.
But Shaun Wynn scored twice and Collins sank two of three free throws after Andre Iguodala fouled him on a 3-pointer in a 6-0 spurt that cut the lead to 25-23.
Rick Anderson's 3-pointer from the top of the key with eight seconds left gave the Wildcats a 44-38 lead at the break.
By BOB BAUM
AP Sports Writer