Arizona’s 65-Foot Feat Wins
Arizona Coach Lute Olson, a sure thing to get his 500th victory sometime this season, got it by a long shot.
“I shot it off one foot, but I was on balance,” Miles Simon said Sunday after he banked in a 65-foot shot at the buzzer to give the 16th-ranked Wildcats a 79-76 victory over No. 5 Cincinnati. “I didn’t just heave it up; I tried to make the shot.”
Simon was only three for 11 from the field until his circus shot, which followed a Cincinnati inbounds pass with 3.8 seconds left that Danny Fortson couldn’t handle.
Simon got credit for a steal when he picked up the loose ball at the top of the Bearcats’ free-throw circle, took one dribble and heaved it with two hands.
“We’ve had some big wins at the tail end, but never from that distance,” said Olson, 500-190 and in his 23rd season, including one at Long Beach State and nine at Iowa.
The Wildcats (18-4) led, 41-38, at halftime, despite playing much of it without center Ben Davis, who had two fouls and played only four minutes. But he blocked a layup attempt by Keith LeGree in the final seconds that led to the final inbounds pass.
Darnell Burton scored nine points during a prolonged run that put the Bearcats (18-2) ahead, 68-59, with 5:37 to play. Michael Dickerson made a basket and two three-point baskets as Arizona fought back to take a 74-73 lead with 1:32 remaining.
After Cincinnati regained the lead, Arizona’s Reggie Geary tied the score, 76-76, with a baseline jumper with 14 seconds to go.
Dickerson had 21 points and Simon added 17 for Arizona. Geary had 11 points, three blocks and four steals as the Wildcats ended the Bearcats’ six-game winning streak.
Damon Flint scored 16 points, Rodrick Monroe 13 and Burton 12 for Cincinnati.
“We usually put teams away when we get them down,” LeGree said. “They really got after us in this game. They took everything away from us, passing and all.”
A smashed chalkboard in the Cincinnati locker room testified to the bitterness of the loss. Coach Bob Huggins was caustic when asked if his team could learn anything from it.
“You have to be awful dumb to have to lose to learn,” Huggins said. “They probably worked long and hard on that shot from three-quarters court.”
North Carolina State 89, Arizona State 69--Todd Fuller had 28 points and 13 rebounds to lead the Wolfpack past the Sun Devils in the first game of the doubleheader at Phoenix.
Fuller scored 18 points in the second half as North Carolina State (14-9) held off an Arizona State charge and turned the game into a rout.
Ron Riley scored 27 points to lead the Sun Devils (8-11), who lost their second consecutive game.