UA buries first 2 opponents, advances to regional semis

By staff and wire reports
Arizona Daily Wildcat
March 18, 1996

TEMPE - No early exit this year.

With yesterday's 87-73 win over the University of Iowa and Friday's 90-51 victory over Valparaiso University, the third-seeded UA men's basketball team advanced to the Round of 16 in the NCAA Tournament. Last year, the Wildcats lost in the first round to Miami (Ohio) University, the third time in four years they suffered opening-round defeats.

The Wildcats (26-6) knocked down seven 3-pointers in the first 141/2 minutes, ruled the boards, and ran the Hawkeyes silly to gain a berth in the NCAA West Regional semifinals in Denver.

Six UA players scored in double figures, led by Ben Davis' 17 points.

Reggie Geary, who scored 16 points, hit three of his first four 3-point shots to lead the Wildcats to a 46-27 advantage before sixth-seeded Iowa (23-9) closed to 48-37 at halftime.

"I put out my credentials by leading my team," Geary said. "When it comes to any point guard in the country, I'll put my record up against his."

The Wildcats didn't have to rely on long-range shooting in the second half as they kept pushing the ball upcourt quickly, outrunning the slower and smaller Hawkeyes, and beating them inside to go back up 56-41 with 15 minutes to go.

"It was pretty obvious that there wasn't a player out there on either team that left anything in their body," UA head coach Lute Olson said. "I don't recall a game that two teams have played that hard."