Mother watches as Geary has big night

By Arlie Rahn

Arizona Daily Wildcat

LOS ANGELES For Reggie Geary, there's no place like home.

And while the L.A. Sports Arena is a far cry from Tucson, it is like a second home for Geary. Whether it was at Mater Dei High School or in Wildcat red and blue, the Santa Ana, Calif., native never seems to disappoint in Los Angeles.

Before last night, the latest victim of Geary's Sports Arena dominance was Missouri in last year's NCAA Regional Finals.

"I don't know what it is, maybe it's something in the air," Geary said. "All I know is that when I walk in this door, I'm ready to shoot."

Last night in the Wildcats' 89-80 win over Southern Cal, Geary's five three-pointers and 18 points were just another indication of his superhuman ability once he steps on this court.

But perhaps another theory for Geary's play could be the fact that his mother, Lydia Geary, was sitting in the stands cheering him on.

"It was great to see my mom here. I had barely even seen her in the last eight months," Geary said. "I always seem to perform well when she's watching, I am thinking about moving her to Tucson."

Senior forward Ray Owes also subscribes to the mother theory.

"Reggie said before the game that his mom called him and told him he was playing like a pig," Owes said, laughing. "And I don't know about him, but, for me, when my mom says something like that, it's time to make some changes."

Geary, who had averaged 6.0 mid

points per game before last nigh, had been bothered by a foot injury and was mired in frustration.

Whatever was the reason for Geary's improved performance, UA coach Lute Olson was just glad to see it happen.

"It was nice to see Reggie come out and shoot so well," Olson said. "We knew that the ankle had been bothering him earlier, and it's tough to shoot if you can't lift off the ground."

Geary also felt that it was time he gave a better performance.

"My confidence was down a bit in the last few games, but the guys kept trying to get me back up to where I was before," Geary said. "They knew when I stopped moping around and got my confidence up, I'd be all right."

But shooting is not all Geary brought to the court last night. That tenacious, Geary-style defense was also devastating to USC.

"Well, when you play like I have in the last few games, your minutes go down and you're not as tired," Geary said. "So I had a little more energy to put towards the other end of the floor."

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