Date: Saturday, March 19, 2005
Time: approx. 4 p.m. MST
Location: Taco Bell Arena (12,600), Boise, Idaho
Radio: Wildcat Radio Network (Brian Jeffries/Ryan Hansen)
TV: CBS (Tim Brando/Mike Gminski)
Game Data: No. 3 seed Arizona (28-6, 15-3 Pac-10) advanced to the second round of the 2005 NCAA Tournament’s Chicago Region Saturday and will face No. 11 seed UAB (22-10, 10-6 C-USA) ... All-time, Arizona is 38-22 (.633) in 24 NCAA Tournament action and 36-19 (.655) in the Lute Olson era ... Olson’s overall NCAA Tournament record improved to 43-25 (.632) ... Thursday’s win moved the Wildcats into the second round for the fifth time in the last six seasons ... The Wildcats are 10-2 in NCAA Tournament second round games.
The Rankings: After winning its only game last week, Arizona rose to No. 8 in both the Associated Press Top 25 and to the ESPN/USA Today Coaches Polls. UA has been ranked in 302 consecutive AP polls released during the regular season only.
Last Time Out: Channing Frye scored 13 points and grabbed seven rebounds in the second half to lead Arizona to the 66-53 come-from-behind win Thursday vs. Utah State. Trailing 29-26 at the half, Arizona limited USU to just 26.7 (8-of-30) percent from the floor in the second half outscore the Aggies 40-24 in the second stanza. UA opened the second half on a 16-2 run over 7:15 to take control. Four Wildcats finished in double figures, led by Frye’s 17 points and 10 rebounds.
The Series: This is the first meeting of the two schools. All-time, Arizona is 20-15 (.571) against Conference USA opponents, including a 4-0 mark over the last three seasons.
Thursday’s Win: The opening-round win improved Arizona’s record to 5-3 as a No. 3 seed ... to 3-1 against the No. 14 seed ... to 3-0 in Boise, Idaho ... to 2-0 on March 17 ... to 2-0 against the Big West Conference ... to 14-10 in first round games.
Coming From Behind: A 16-2 run to open the second half erased a three-point halftime deficit en route to the 13-point win over Utah State. It marked the 11th time this season that Arizona has trailed at the half and the team is 8-3 in those games.
Clamping Down: After allowing Utah State to connect on 48 percent (12-of-25) of its first half field goal attempts, the Wildcats clamped down and limited the Aggies to just 26.7 percent (8-of-30) accuracy in the second half, its lowest FG percentage in a half this season. Utah State, who entered the game leading the nation with a team field goal percentage of 53.1 percent, shot just 36.4 percent (20-of-55) for the game, which was USU’s second-worst effort of the season. It marked the 10th time that Arizona has held an opponent to less than 40 percent shooting this season. Counting three Pac-10 Tournament games, Arizona is limiting opponents to 39.7 percent shooting (95-of-239) from the field.
Elite Company: On the way to 17 points against Utah State, Salim Stoudamire passed a nice statistical milestone as he is just the fifth player in school history to score more than 1,900 career points. Entering Saturday’s game, the 6-foot-1 guard has scored 1,904 points in 126 games played (15.1 ppg). He joins Sean Elliott (2,555 points, 1985-89), Bob Elliott (2,125, 1973-77), Jason Gardner (1,984, 1999-2003) and Khalid Reeves (1,925, 1990-94) as the only UA players to accomplish the feat.
Doubling Up: Channing Frye certainly made his presence felt with 17 points, 10 rebounds and five blocked shots on Thursday. For Frye, it was his team-leading seventh double-double of the season and the 28th of his career. Interestingly, Frye has shown the ability to rise to the occasion in the postseason, as he now has six double-doubles in nine career NCAA Tournament games, including five in his last six tourney appearances dating back to 2003.
Seventh Heaven: Sophomore Mustafa Shakur passed out seven assists in Thursday’s win, improving the UA record to 13-3 this year when he passes out at least five assists.
Back At It: Chris Rodgers proved to be a nice spark off the bench as the junior notched 10 points in 13 minutes vs. Utah State. It was his seventh double-figure scoring effort of the year, and his first in eight games (Feb. 17). Since that 11-point effort vs. Oregon State on Feb. 17, Rodgers has only totaled 12 points in that span.
A Nice Debut: Freshman Jawann McClellan put forth a nice NCAA Tournament debut, tallying seven points on 3-of-6 shooting to go with five rebounds (three offensive) in 25 minutes without a turnover.