May 16, 2002
ADELAIDE, Australia - Dennis Latimore keyed a dominating performance for the University of Arizona frontline in leading the Wildcats to a 109-98 win over the Sturt Sabres Wednesday night at the Pasadena Stadium.
Latimore hit 11-of-17 shots from the floor and finished with team-high totals of 22 points and 14 rebounds as Arizona improved to 2-0 on its current 10-game tour of Australia. Teammate Channing Frye also finished with a double-double, totaling 20 points and 12 rebounds, and was one of five UA players to finish in double figures. The duo spearheaded an effort that saw the Wildcat frontcourt score 68 of the team's 109 points and grab 49 of its 65 rebounds. For the game, Arizona posted a 65-38 rebound advantage.
"I thought we played so much better tonight," said Arizona head coach Lute Olson. "We looked like we were ready to play both mentally and physically. Our big guys proved to be the difference, and I thought Dennis was outstanding. They had no one that could match up with him."
The 6-foot-8, 254-pound Latimore used his size and quickness against the undersized Sabres and seemed to be able to score at will, while controlling the glass at both ends of the floor. He was especially effective in the second quarter, as he tallied eight points and six rebounds in helping the Wildcats take control of the game by outscoring Sturt, 37-29, in the period.
"More than anything else, my legs felt a lot better tonight, " said Latimore. "I was able to take advantage of my size and made quick moves in the lane. I knew that I needed to be more active tonight and felt like I accomplished that."
Arizona opened the game with a 5-1 run and failed to hold the lead in the game for a total of 46 seconds of the second quarter. After Sturt's Brett Maher gave the team its only lead at 37-36, Arizona responded with a 20-10 run to close the quarter and essentially put the game out of reach.
The Cats eventually extended the lead to as many as 20 points midway through the third quarter before seeing the lead dwindle to just four points, 80-76, with 10:21 remaining. Jason Gardner, who tallied 13 points and three assists, ended the threat with a trey at 9:28.
"With the exception of one short period where we let them make a run, we played very well tonight," said assistant coach Josh Pastner, who handled the coaching duties this evening. "The frontline did a great job of establishing position and using its size and strength to our advantage.
The Wildcats return to action on Mon., May 20, as the team is scheduled to play the Dandenong Rangers in Melbourne at 6 p.m.