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Wildcats Step Up in Win Over Marquette
Courtesy: Arizona Athletics
Release: 12/19/2004
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Courtesy: Arizona Athletics
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MILWAUKEE (AP) - Salim Stoudamire kept his head up and encouraged his teammates. He didn't sulk or pout when things went wrong.

Now, that's what Arizona coach Lute Olson wants to see Stoudamire do on the basketball court.

Olson benched Stoudamire, his leading scorer, on Saturday, when No. 15 Arizona edged Marquette 48-43 despite the Wildcats' lowest scoring output in nearly 20 years.

Olson didn't like the way his senior star moped after being held to a career-low one field goal attempt in a victory over Utah last week, Stoudamire's third scoreless game in 101 at Arizona.

``It was just a case where I felt it was the only way for him to begin to gain a positive attitude,'' Olson said. ``We just need him to meet team responsibilities as a senior when on the court.''

Lesson learned, Stoudamire insisted.

He said he realizes that ``regardless of what's going on (in a game) I have to be there emotionally for my teammates. I have to get everybody into it.''

Marquette coach Tom Crean knew he hadn't caught a break when he heard Stoudamire wouldn't play: ``You just knew they were going to come out with a real chip on their shoulder.''

And he knew Stoudamire's replacement, Chris Rodgers, was no slouch.

``Chris Rodgers would start for most teams in America,'' Crean said. ``He just happens to be behind some All-Americans at Arizona.''

Rodgers keyed the victory with 16 points and six rebounds and made a key layup in the final minute when he blew past Steve Novak into an open lane.

Hassan Adams added 14 points for the visitors, including two free throws with 4.1 seconds left to seal the victory after he grabbed the rebound off his teammate Ivan Radenovic's errant 3-pointer.

Neither team scored much Saturday, combining for only three field goals over the last nine minutes. Arizona (7-2) hadn't been held to so few points since a 50-41 loss to Alabama in the 1985 NCAA tournament. And Marquette scored just four points over the final 10:07.

Arizona trailed 43-42 when Adams sank two free throws with 2:06 remaining. The Golden Eagles found it harder and harder to get off a good shot against the athletic Wildcats and never regained the lead.

Nearly half of Marquette's shots (24 of 49) were 3-pointers, and the Golden Eagles only sank seven of them.

Marquette (9-1), which had its 34-game home winning streak ended, got 14 points from Travis Diener, who became the school's career leading 3-point shooter but was just 5-of-17 from the floor. Novak scored 11 points.

Diener's four 3-pointers gave him 245, one more than Rob Logterman's old mark.

Diener (21.1-point average) and Novak (15.3), the Golden Eagles' top two scorers, combined to shoot 3-for-15 from the floor in the first half.

``You are not going to see two better shooters on one team than Novak and Diener,'' Olson said. ``And in order to stop that you need five guys working together and I felt like we really did a great job defensively.''

With his senior star rooting from the next seat over, no less.

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