May 20, 2002
MELBOURNE, Australia - Jason Gardner scored a game-high 27 points and Rick Anderson added 12 points and 10 rebounds to lead Arizona to a 107-89 win over the Dandenong Rangers Monday evening at the Dandenong Basketball Stadium.
Gardner hit 10-of-15 shots from the floor, including 6-of-9 from three-point range, to lead the Wildcats to its third straight victory on its current 10-game tour of Australia. Gardner scored six of his points in Arizona's decisive 18-2 run to start the fourth quarter.
"We didn't play all that well tonight," said Gardner of his team's performance despite posting its biggest margin of victory on the tour, "and I felt like I had to do a little more to get us a win. I guess it helped that my jumper was going."
Gardner got solid contributions from backcourt mate Jason Ranne, forward Rick Anderson and center Channing Frye. The trio combined for 30 points and 20 rebounds, as the Wildcats outscored Dandenong in every quarter, including a 22-10 posting in the final period.
"I thought Jason (Gardner) and Jason (Ranne) played very well for us tonight," said Arizona head coach Lute Olson. "Both Ricky and Channing were active on both ends of the court, so I was pleased to see those four guys make positive contributions."
Gardner and Anderson did most of the damage for Arizona in the first quarter by combining to score15 of the team's 29 points. Anderson tallied all of seven of his points in a 2:16 stretch in the opening quarter to help UA dig itself out of an early six-point deficit.
"I just came out and played hard tonight," explained Anderson. "I didn't worry about anything else except going out there and playing hard."
The contest was never in doubt after the first quarter. Frye put a stop to any serious thoughts of an upset by scoring nine of his 19 points in the first four minutes of the second quarter. The Rangers did put together a brief spurt late in the third quarter to cut the UA lead to six points (85-79) heading into the fourth quarter just prior to the Arizona run that put the game out of reach.
"For having not touched a basketball in three days, I thought we did pretty well to shake off the rust," said assistant coach Rodney Tention, who handled the coaching duties on Monday. "We did a few things well, especially in the fourth quarter, to take care of business."