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Cats Overtake Memphis, Take 79-71 Victory
By: Arizona Athletics
Release: December 28, 2006
Photo Courtesy: Arizona Athletics
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TUCSON?-Free throws gave Arizona a late six-point cushion inside the final two minutes and the No. 9 Wildcats played keep-away to take a 79-71 hard-fought victory over No. 18 Memphis, 79-71, Wednesday night in the Chase Bank Fiesta Bowl Classic in McKale Center.

Mustafa Shakur’s 23 points paced Arizona, which also got 18 apiece from Ivan Radenovic and Chase Budinger. The Tigers were led by 21 points from guards Jeremy Hunt and Andre Allen with 15. Arizona scored 24 points from the line in 31 attempts while Memphis hit 7 of 10.

Shakur was named the Classic’s MVP, which this year was trimmed to one game after two decades of two-day affairs involving four teams. Arizona improved to 9-1 while dropping Memphis to 8-3 with its other losses to Georgia Tech in the Maui Classic and on the road at Tennessee.

Arizona regained a lead after 23 minutes of play, made a spurt and then hung on, trading points with the quick Tigers.
The Cats shot 38 percent in the first half and 54 percent in the second half, and held Memphis to 43 percent in each. UA barely outrebounded MU, 37-35.

UA opened the second half with a 22-8 run spanning eight minutes to open a nine-point lead after trailing by five at the half.
A three-point shot by Budinger and a Budinger steal that led to a fast-break dunk by Jawann McClellan tied the game at 38 a minute and half into the period. It was the first tie of the game.

The Cats took their first lead, 43-42, at the 17-minute mark on a made bucket and free throw by Ivan Radenovic, and after Memphis answered with a Joey Dorsey layup, Radenovic again made a three-point play to give UA a 46-44 lead.

McClellan fed Budinger for a layup to push the lead to four, but Robert Dozier tipped in a rebound. Shakur answered with a three at the other end and UA had a five-point lead, 51-46 at the 15-minute mark. Shakur’s dunk pushed it to 53-46 and then Radenovic made a pair of free throws to open a 55-46 lead.

Kareem Cooper hit a pair of shots and Hunt added a fastbreak layup to make it a four-point game, 56-52, before a timeout with 11 minutes left.

UA stretched it back to seven on a back-door cut and layup off a Daniel Dillon pass to make it 62-55 with about eight and a half minutes remaining, and then Radenovic hit a pair of free throws to go back up by nine.

Dillon hit a twisting layup for an 11-point lead moments later but Memphis’ driving, slashing style kept it battling, with an Andre Allen layup to trim the lead to nine. He hit a pair of free throws at the 7:14 mark to cut the lead to 66-59.

A minute later McClellan handcuffed a steal and fed Shakur for a fast-break dunk to push it back to an 11-point lead, 70-59, and MU coach John Calipari called time out.

Hunt knocked down a trey to cut it to eight, but Budinger answered with a jumper after Arizona began to take a little air out of the ball with five minutes left. Hunt hit another three moments later to make it a seven-point game, 72-65. Calipari called another timeout after Joey Dorsey fouled out with eight points and a game-high 11 rebounds.

Shakur turned the ball over on a traveling call with 2:24 left in the game and Kareem Cooper turned it into a big play with a layup and foul shot to make it Arizona 75, Memphis 71 with 2:05 left. UA scored its final seven points from the free throw line.

Shakur’s first-half scoring kept UA in the game against 55 percent Memphis three-point shooting.

The game started out with a flurry but with poor shooting and ball handling by both squads. Marcus Williams took a run down the lane for a banked lay-in, and then blocked a shot at the other end and fed Shakur for a breakaway dunk to give UA a quick lead. The Tigers’ Hashim Bailey answered with an inside dunk, all inside the first moments of the game.

Jeremy Hunt’s three-pointer gave Memphis its first lead, 5-4, at the 16-minute mark and at the first media timeout, UA was 2 for 7 from the floor while Memphis was 2 for 11. UA had four turnovers to three by Memphis.

Andre Allen rattled home a three to make it 8-4. Two minutes later Kareem Cooper’s dunk and another Hunt trey made it 15-6 Memphis.

Williams, Shakur and Ivan Radenovic cut the lead with successive baskets before Hunt went inside to make it 19-12. Radenovic had a put-back to make it 19-14 at the 11:30 mark.? Allen hit another three and Radenovic hit a jumper to close it to 22-16 at the 10:48 mark.

Shakur knocked down a three-pointer to cut the lead to three, and UA got three successive? defensive stops. After the 8-minute media break, UA reserve center Jordan Hill got an offensive rebound and put himself at the line, making one. Hunt answered with an inside move to make it 24-20. MU’s Willie Kemp drained a three to push it back to a seven-point lead.

Shakur hit his 11th point with a bucket at the six-minute mark, but Chris Douglas-Roberts hit a shot to make it a seven-point game until Chase Budinger made a three-point play for a 29-25 score in favor of the Tigers.

Shakur fed Williams for an inside move to cut it to two, ?but Joey Dorsey had a big offensive rebound and put-back to make it 31-27, and then followed with another rebound-dunk after a UA turnover for 33-27 at the 3:27 timeout.

Jawann McClellan got himself to the line with a play in the lane and hit both shots to cut the lead to four, and then tucked a 12-footer in to make it 33-31 Memphis with under three minutes left ?- but Allen scored his ninth point with another three.

Shakur answered with his 13th point to make it 36-33, but with 30 seconds left Radenovic fouled Allen shooting a three, and he made two free throws to push the lead back to five, 38-33. After a Lute Olson 30-second timeout, the Cats couldn’t get off a good shot before time expired.

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