Wow what a game! Some ugly plays at the end and some missed free throws allowed Colorado to scrap and claw their way into an overtime game. Foul trouble hurt the Cats again, with Nic Wise losing minutes early for the second consecutive game with two quick fouls. Arizona's shooting (52.6% from the field and 56% from behind the arc) was better than Colorado's (41.8% from the field and 27.8% from behind the arc); however, it was the large amount of fouls from Arizona that kept the Buffaloes in it. The Wildcats finished with 28 personal fouls, an unacceptable amount. The Sean Miller press defense is still a work in progress and right now is leading to more free throws than stops.
Last night Nic Wise did not play very well at all and looked lost at times, but in this one Wise came up huge down the stretch, scoring 16 of the last 19 points for the Wildcats and single-handedly led the Wildcats to victory. He finished with a career high 30 points, adding 4 rebounds and 6 assists. Derrick Williams continued to be a force tonight in the middle although it was nothing like last night's performance. He's still very raw and will require coaching from Miller for him to reach his full potential. He finished the game with 11 points and 9 rebounds. The defensive MVP for the game has to be Jamelle Horne and insane knack for blocks, one of his 6 blocks was highlighted with Jamelle yelling "BITCH" for the entire television audience to hear as he pounded it into the stands.
Also similar to last night's game against Wisconsin, was the closeness of the game to the very end. You have to tip your hat to the Colorado Buffaloes for a terrific effort. They played very well in this tournament and don't belong in the last place game. They're a tough minded team and look for them to beat up on Chaminade tomorrow.
With the victory, the Arizona Wildcats have earned a game against the #24 Vanderbilt Commodores for 5th place in the Maui Invitational. Although 5th place doesn't exactly sound like the ideal finishing spot, the chance for Arizona to face off against a good out of conference team is exactly why tournaments like the Maui Invitational are attractive options for the Cats and this is all we could ask for.