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Arizona Edges Lipscomb, 83-82
By: Arizona Athletics
Release: December 21, 2009
Photo Courtesy: Arizona Athletics
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Dec. 21, 2009

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TUCSON (AP) - Arizona senior guard Nic Wise had just enough time think and shoot. That was about it.

But it was good enough as he hit a 3-point shot with .1 second left in overtime to give the Wildcats a stunning 83-82 come-from-behind overtime victory over visiting Lipscomb at McKale Center.

"I saw (Kyle) Fogg was about to shoot it - one of those desperation launches - but I yelled his name and luckily he saw me,'' Wise said of the game's final moments. "It looked good when it left my hand. I couldn't see because there was somebody in my way. When it dropped everyone went crazy.''

Wise added he knew he got the ball off in time but wasn't sure if it was a 3-pointer.

"I thought I was on the line, honestly,'' he said. "I couldn't tell because it was that quick.''

The team celebrated and Wise ran off the court with his teammates frantically following. But they were brought back because there was some question if Wise, one, got the shot off in time, and two, hit a 3-pointer or a 2-pointer.

Wise said it was hard emotionally to come back (because they thought they had won) but "we just wanted to get our guys ready for another overtime. We wanted to keep our minds sharp for another overtime.''

After about a four-minute review of the replay, referee Chris Rastatter indicated the shot was good, and in time.

Lipscomb Scott Sanderson declined comment after the game.

"I just wanted them to get the call right,'' UA coach Sean Miller said of the referees meeting, "if that meant it was good, it was good. If it wasn't, it wasn't. When I saw it from my vantage point I knew it was going to be close.''

It was UA's third overtime game of the season. It is now 2-1 in those games.

"We know that every game is going to be a war,'' Miller said.

After Lipscomb's Adnan Hodzic missed the second of two free throws to make it 82-80 with 4.7 seconds left, Arizona got the rebound and scrambled downcourt for a final attempt at a win. With little time on his hands, Wise found himself with the ball, throwing up a desperation shot just as the buzzer sounded. It hit nothing but net.

Lipscomb's Johnny Lee hit a 3-pointer with 28.3 seconds left in overtime to give the Bisons a 79-78 lead with 32.8 seconds left.

The Bisons recovered in the overtime after being down 78-73 after UA's Lamont Jones hit his third 3-pointer of the extra period.

Lee got his 3-point opportunity after Jones missed a trey on UA's previous possession.

Arizona called timeout after Lee's 3-pointer, freshman Solomon Hill lost the ball off his leg, giving Lipscomb the ball. UA fouled Bisons guard Jordan Burgason who hit two free throws with 10.4 left to give Lipscomb an 81-78 lead.

Arizona's Wise scored a team-high 26 points to lead Arizona.

Brian Wright hit a 3-pointer with 1.5 seconds left after Burgason missed a 3-pointer with three seconds left to tie it at 69 to send it into overtime.

In regulation, Wise threw up a desperation 80 footer that bounced off the rim, sending the game into overtime.

The Wildcats overcame a tremendous performance from Bisons center Hodzic, who scored a game-high 34 points.

"I was just a little extra focused,'' Hodzic said. "My uncle died (on Monday) and he and I were close. I wanted to dedicate this game to him. I just wanted to do what I can to help the team to win. It doesn't matter how many points I scored. It was just an exciting game.''

Arizona is now 5-5 overall and Lipscomb is 4-7.

Arizona has struggled most of the season and did again against Lipscomb, but Wise said the win could give the team the needed motivation to play better the rest of the season.

"I could be a game like Houston last year,'' Wise said, referring to a game where UA won in overtime after being down by double digits late. "Something crazy happens and it turns the whole season around.''

Arizona was down 34-30 at the half.

Arizona picked up the pace midway through the second half after feeling the pressure of defeat. After missing their first four shots of the second half, the Wildcats rallied from a 38-30 deficit early in the second half and a 45-38 deficit with 13:15 left.

Arizona's rally came from an unsuspecting source. Reserve sophomore center Alex Jacobson, who went into the game averaging just one point a game, hit three consecutive shots in the second half to get UA close. One shot included an offensive tip-in to make it 52-50.

Arizona tied the score at 52 after Derrick Williams scored off an offensive rebound. Wise gave UA its first lead - 53-52 - since the 14:31 mark in the first half when it had a 13-12 lead.

The Bisons didn't give up, however. Lipscomb's Jordan Burgason tied it before UA's Fogg hit a 3-pointer with 5:24 left. But Brian Wight came right back to hit a 3-pointer to tie it.

Lipscomb was used to playing upper division teams, having played No. 25 Cincinnati on Saturday close for a half before losing, 80-52.

Arizona seemingly started to take some control of the game eight minutes into it, but the Bisons outscored UA 10-3 to retake the lead and never trailed the rest of the half. Arizona had no answer for 6-9 Hodzic, who had 18 points in the half.

Arizona played without junior starter Jamelle Horne, who sat at the end of the bench wearing a protective boot on his left ankle. He suffered a sprained ankle in Arizona's loss to San Diego State on Dec. 12. Miller said there is a chance Horne could be out for another five weeks with the injury.

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