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Men's Hoops Defeats Brisbane Bullets, 98-90
Courtesy: Arizona Athletics
Release: 05/26/2002
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Courtesy: Arizona Athletics
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Day 14 (May 26, 2002)

BRISBANE, Australia - Salim Stoudamire scored 14 of his 22 points in the second quarter to lead the Arizona Wildcats to a 98-90 win over the Brisbane Bullets Sunday evening at the Rowland Cowan Basketball Stadium.

Stoudamire hit five of six field goal attempts, including 3-of-4 from three-point range, to ignite a 16-2 run to start the period and erase most of what was a 16-point first quarter deficit.

"I struggled a little bit early and lost my confidence," said Stoudamire, who was 1-for-3 from the field in the first quarter, "But I was able to hit some shots in the second and get it back. For me, it's all about my confidence, and I felt good in the second quarter."

Stoudamire's effort almost single-handedly carried the Wildcats after a lethargic first quarter. UA hit just seven of 14 field goal attempts, committed seven turnovers and was outrebounded 18-9 in the opening period. After 12 minutes of play, Arizona trailed 34-18.

"I told the guys it was about playing hard," said assistant coach Rodney Tention, who handled the head coaching duties Wednesday. "Eventually, we got around to doing that and Salim put us on his back in the second quarter. "Dennis (Latimore) and Channing (Frye) were great tonight as well."

Latimore put forth another strong effort for the Wildcats, posting 17 points and 10 rebounds. He scored eight points in the decisive second-quarter run, including six straight in a 1:39 span. Additionally, Frye chipped in with 22 points, eight rebounds and seven blocked shots. That helped Arizona outscore Brisbane, 35-13, in the second quarter.

"I thought Dennis played very well tonight, as he has throughout the entire tour," said Arizona head coach Lute Olson. "It also helps when Salim shoots it well, and he was very good tonight."

Behind the play of Wade Helliwell, who finished with 29 points and 11 rebounds, Brisbane was able to stay close, and actually tied the contest at 61 with 5:40 to play in the third quarter. From that point, Arizona used a 12-5 run to close the period with a seven-point lead.

The Bullets cut the lead to 78-76 with 6:51 to go in the fourth quarter, but the Wildcats iced the game from the free throw line, connecting on 14-of-17 attempts in the period.

Arizona will next be in action on Wednesday, May 28, against Kuiym Pride Smithfield. Tip-off in Cairns is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.

****

Sunday was a travel day for the Wildcats, which meant (of course) that it was destined to be a beautiful day. Throughout the course of this tour, the sunny, comfortable days everyone was hoping for came only when the team was shuttling to and from airports. Otherwise, the rain has been a constant companion.

It was a short flight north from Sydney to Brisbane and it's amazing how much difference a 62-minute flight can make. The Cats were greeted in Brisbane by sunny skies and 22-degree temperatures (Celsius) and it immediately lifted the team's spirits.

"Oh man, I'm finally going to be able to wear some shorts," cheered Channing Frye. "I really miss the sun. I feel like I haven't seen it in two weeks."

At least one other player was hoping that the weather had finally broken, forward Rick Anderson. The noted surf enthusiast, who has been browsing the local surf web sites throughout the trip, is planning to use tomorrow as a day to finally get in a little surfing.

"This weather is fantastic," he said. "I hope it holds up so I can surf tomorrow. I'm dying to get in the water."

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