TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) -- It's getting to be a familiar script.
Arizona's Hassan Adams led a second-half charge, scoring 18 of
his season-high 27 points after the break, and the 24th-ranked
Wildcats rallied for a 73-61 win over Saint Mary's on Saturday.
"I am not going to lose," said Adams, who also had eight
rebounds. "I'm going to do what it takes, if it is offense or
rebounding. My team feeds off me. I need to try to set the
Arizona (4-3) tied a season high with 15 steals and forced the
Gaels (1-3) into 24 turnovers. Daniel Kickert, averaging 21 points
a game for Saint Mary's, was scoreless at halftime and finished
with seven points, going 2-of-12 from the field.
"No matter where he turned, there was somebody there," Arizona
coach Lute Olson said. "We didn't get fooled by his faking. We
stayed down and made it tougher for him to get shots."
Ivan Radenovic did most of the work on Kickert and had nine
points and nine rebounds, just missing a third consecutive
double-double. Marcus Williams had 14 points to help Arizona go
above .500 for the first time since winning its opener.
But the Wildcats couldn't shake their season-long problem with
3-point shooting. After going 4-of-22 against Northern Arizona on
Thursday, they were 0-for-10 against Saint Mary's.
"I don't think we're playing like we should, but at the same
time I know it will come around," Adams said.
The Gaels were 4-for-17 from behind the arc in their third
straight loss, disappointing coach Randy Bennett.
"We are usually a good 3-point shooting team, and we struggled
with that today," Bennett said. "It really frustrated me that we
kept giving them easy baskets and making stupid fouls."
Brett Collins led Saint Mary's with 13 points. Freshman Diamon
Simpson had a season-high 12 points and nine rebounds, and Todd
Golden scored 10 points.
Saint Mary's led most of the game, including a 34-27 lead at
Adams had 15 points in the second half against Northern Arizona,
and this game was similar. He scored six in the opening 4:40 of the
second half, during a charge that carried the Wildcats to a 40-39
lead with 14:19 left in the game -- their first lead since the
Simpson had a basket at the 14:04 mark for the Gaels' last lead,
But Adams answered with a basket, starting a 13-6 run that he
and Mustafa Shakur capped with transition baskets after Saint
Mary's turnovers. Shakur's, with 7:54 remaining, sent the Wildcats
to a 53-47 lead.
Adams had baskets 27 seconds apart late in the game before being
taken out with 1:17 to go.
"We stopped taking shots," Collins said. "I don't think they
did anything special."
John Winston, a 2004-05 midseason transfer from UNLV who became
eligible Friday, shot the Gaels into an early 7-2 lead with a
3-pointer, and they stretched it to 16-8 on a 3-pointer by Ian
O'Leary with 13:26 left in the first half. Winston and Collins
scored three points each as the Gaels outscored Arizona 8-1 before
the half ended.