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Men's Hoops Analysis: True tales from the stat sheets

CHRIS CODUTO/Arizona Daily Wildcat
Salim Stoudamire fights for the ball with Oregon State forward David Lucas during Arizona's 109-75 win over the Beavers last night in McKale Center.
By Brett Fera
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Friday, January 23, 2004
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To the lucky group of UA students hanging from the McKale Center rafters during Arizona's 109-75 win against Oregon State - in the nosebleed paradise otherwise known as section 125 - numbers like this will never, ever lie.

  • No. 14 Arizona (12-3, 4-2 Pacific 10 Conference) converted 65 percent of its attempts from the floor, including 46 percent from 3-point range

  • The Wildcats grabbed 39 boards to their opponents' 28, tossed away seven blocks to their guests' goose egg, and outscored the visitors 81-48 to close out the game after the contest was knotted at 28 with six-and-a-half minutes to go in the first half.

  • The trio of UA junior Salim Stoudamire and sophomores Hassan Adams and Andre Iguodala each scored at least 19 points - combining to hit 25 of 33 from the field (.757). Seven Wildcats managed at least eight points and 11 of the team's 12 active players made at least one bucket.

  • Adams alone accounted for 20 points on 9 of 12 shooting, while also hitting both of his long-range attempts, collecting 10 rebounds and picking up a pair of steals to go with four blocks.

    But the dozen UA players that stepped onto Lute and Bobbi Olson court and took part in a 34-point thrashing of Pac-10 foe OSU said they noticed a few negatives that couldn't be seen on the stat sheet, or by any fan in the stands or reporter on press row.

    "We had too many defensive breakdowns," said freshman point guard Mustafa Shakur, who scored a quiet eight points to go with five boards and five assists. "You don't see that on the stat reports."

    "We have to be more aggressive early," Adams added. "Coming out stronger - that's what you've got to do to set the tone."

    Adams was the first - but certainly not last - UA player during postgame interviews to comment on how the Wildcats just "played Arizona basketball." Not one player forgot to mention a mistake or two of his own while singing his teammates' praises.

    "We had fun and shared the ball a lot," Shakur said. "We shot really well from the floor. Instead of only two or three guys looking to pass out there, we had everyone looking for the extra pass."

    The energy and confidence of this year's Arizona team, which is readily apparent, may verge on over-excitement and cockiness, but team showed a little humility after this game - its second straight win of at least 25 points. With 12 conference games remaining before postseason play, the UA players can only benefit from being able to pinpoint their own faults, even during blowout wins. 20 minutes, twice, for Cats against Beavers

    For one of the few times all season, Arizona came out firing to start both halves, jumping out to an 11-4 lead during the game's first three minutes and outscoring the Beavers 16-2 during the first four minutes of the second half.

    "We still have ups and downs," Adams said. "But we are trying to get it to where we can play a complete 40 minutes each game."

    Even though Arizona relinquished its early lead and fell behind three different times in the first half, coming out of the blocks unafraid to shoot and getting ahead early proved to be all the difference between a 34-point win over Oregon State last night and a nine-point loss to Southern California just a week earlier.

    "We turned up our intensity. On offense we got some really good shooting from everyone. On defense, we just turned it up on them and that was the difference."

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