(AP and staff report)
TUCSON, Ariz.--Senior forward Hassan Adams scored 18 of his season-high 27 points in the second half to lead No. 24 Arizona to a 73-61 victory over Saint Mary's Saturday afternoon before a crowd of 14, 398 in McKale Center.
UA trailed by seven at the break but came out with more effective defense from the start in the second frame, and finished by forcing SMC into 24 turnovers, 13 of those after the break.
The Wildcats (4-3) tied a season high with 15 steals. Daniel Kickert, who was averaging 21 points a game for St. Mary's (1-3), was scoreless at halftime and finished with seven points, going 2-of-12 from the field.
Ivan Radenovic did most of the work on Kickert and had nine points and nine rebounds, just missing a third consecutive double-double. Marcus Williams had 14 points to help Arizona go above .500 for the first time since winning its opener.
Arizona did not make a three-point field goal in a game at McKale Center for the first time in its history, missing on 10 tries. On Feb. 28, 2001, the Cats were 1-for-14 from three-point range against Washington in McKale. In an NCAA Tournament game in March 2001 against Mississippi, the Cats had their only other three-point shutout in history, missing on eight attempts.
UA was 0-for-8 from three-point range in the first half and eschewed the range for the most part in the second period, attempting only two more.
Brett Collins led Saint Mary's with 13 points. Freshman Diamon Simpson had a season-high 12 points and nine rebounds, and Todd Golden scored 10 points.
Saint Mary's led most of the game, including a 34-27 lead at halftime after holding UA to 31 percent from the field. In the first half the Gaels scored 18 points in the paint, with nine fast-break points to zero by the Cats.
Adams scored six points in the opening 4:40 of the second half, during a charge that carried the Wildcats to a 40-39 lead with 14:19 left in the game - their first lead since the opening minutes.
Simpson had a basket at the 14:04 mark for the Gaels' last lead, 41-40.
But Adams answered with a basket, starting a 13-6 run that he and Mustafa Shakur capped with transition baskets after Saint Mary's turnovers. Shakur's, with 7:54 remaining, sent the Wildcats to a 53-47 lead.
Adams had baskets 27 seconds apart late in the game before being taken out with 1:17 to go.
John Winston, a 2004-05 midseason transfer from UNLV who became eligible Friday, shot the Gaels into an early 7-2 lead with a 3-pointer, and they stretched it to 16-8 on a 3-pointer by Ian O'Leary with 13:26 left in the first half. Winston and Collins scored three points each as the Gaels outscored Arizona 8-1 before the half ended.