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Men?s Basketball Downs British Columbia, 87-76
Courtesy: Arizona Athletics
Release: 09/05/2006
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Courtesy: Arizona Athletics
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 Dillon, Wise key late-game push

 

NEW WESTMINSTER, B.C. ?- The backcourt made the difference.

 

Junior Daniel Dillon and freshman Nic Wise each made key plays down the stretch as the University of Arizona pulled away late to defeat the University of British Columbia, 87-76, Monday morning at Douglas College.

 

Dillon, a 6-foot-3 guard from Melbourne, Australia, knocked down two three-point field goals in a 90-second span, and assisted on another to Wise, to spark a 26-14 run over the game’s last 7:15 and secure the victory.

 

The win enabled the Wildcats’ to finish its tour of Vancouver with a spotless 5-0 record.

 

“I was doing what I could to help the team,” Dillon said. “I didn’t want to leave Canada with a loss to a lesser team.  I just wanted the win.”

 

The victory ended a very successful tour for Dillon, who averaged 12.5 points per game, while shooting 56.4 percent from the field.

 

“The best guard on this trip in terms of consistency was Daniel Dillon,” said UA head coach Lute Olson.

 

Dillon himself felt more confident while on the trip and was certainly worthy of all-Commonwealth consideration.

 

“I definitely have more confidence in my offensive game,” said Dillon.  “When I came to Arizona there were already a number of talented players here and my role was to play good defense. I feel like I’m bringing more to the table now.”

 

Wise hit 8-of-14 field goals and finished with a team-high 21 points.  The 5-foot-9 freshman from Kingwood, Texas, hit a number of big shots, as three of his buckets were responsible for giving the Wildcats the lead in a game that featured 10 ties and 17 lead changes.

 

For Wise, it was a nice turnaround from Sunday’s performance at Simon Fraser University in which he connected on only 3-of-10 field goal attempts.  He received a boost from his father, Greg, who made the trip over the weekend.

 

“I didn’t have my legs last night,” said Wise.  “My dad told me to come out today and finish strong.”

 

That was exactly what the Wildcats needed today after playing five games over 62 hours in Vancouver.  Wise credited Arizona’s quickness with an assist today in dealing with fatigue.

 

“We had to fight through it,” he said.  “We went with our small lineup and our quickness made the difference.”

 

Today’s finale proved to be tight throughout.  Arizona was able to build a seven point lead midway through the first half, but held a one-point advantage at the break.

 

The second half was even tighter, highlighted by eight ties and 13 lead changes, and neither team led by more than four points until the decisive run.

 

It also proved to be a welcome test for Olson.

 

“It’s been a strenuous schedule,” he explained, “but it’s been good because we’ve seen all of our guys.  When guys are tired, you see their competitiveness strep up.”

 

Arizona opens the 2006-07 regular season at Virginia on Sunday, Nov.12.

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