Adams leads Arizona past St. Mary’s
Tucson, AZ (Sports Network) – Hassan Adams scored a game-high 27 points and
grabbed eight rebounds to lead 24th-ranked Arizona to a 73-61 victory over St.
Mary’s at the McKale Center on Saturday.
The mighty Wildcats, once a staple in college basketball’s upper echelon,
are looking less and less like one of the game’s top programs.
Arizona (4-3) struggled mightily against lightly-regarded St. Mary’s (1-3)
before pulling away for the victory.
The Gaels outhustled and outshot a Wildcat team that seemed disinterested
until falling behind.
In the end, Arizona’s stifling defense and its talented guard, Adams, were
too much for St. Mary’s. Marcus Williams added 14 points and three
rebounds in the triumph.
With Arizona holding a precarious 49-47 lead, Adams stole a lazy pass on the
left wing and coasted in for the layup. Another steal, followed by a Mustafa
Shakur jumper, gave the Cats some breathing room and a 53-47 lead.
St. Mary’s would never recover.
Brett Collins had 13 points while Diamon Simpson added 12 points and nine
rebounds for the Gaels in the loss.
Arizona’s defense was the key in overcoming a shoddy offensive performance.
The Wildcats held St. Mary’s top scorer, forward Daniel Kickert, to just
seven points on 2-for-12 shooting from the field.
The two teams battled through a closely contested first half but poor shooting
Down 16-8 after Ian O’Leary’s three-pointer, the Wildcats responded with a
18-10 run to tie the score at 26-26 with 4:49 left in the first half.
The plucky Gaels refused to give in on a the way to a 34-27 halftime lead.
A Simpson layup sparked an 8-0 run that gave St. Mary’s back control
of the game while Arizona could muster just one free throw the rest of the
The Cats hit just nine of 29 shots in the first half.
Arizona has been ranked in 306 consecutive AP Polls…Kickert had been
averaging 21.0 ppg coming into the contest…The Wildcats are just 1-3 in
games decided by 10 points or less this season…Arizona now leads the
all-time series with St. Mary’s 4-2…Arizona was 0-8 from three-point land
in the first half and 0-10 for the game…The Wildcats return to action
December 17 versus Utah, while St. Mary’s visits Air Force on December 13.