Clutch Coleman carries Arizona to win in Maui
Guard Justin Coleman (12) jumps to take a shot during the game against UTEP on Wednesday, Nov. 14 in Mckale Center. The final score was 79-46 with an Arizona win.
The Arizona men’s basketball team was having trouble in paradise in beginning the Maui Invitational, down double-digits to Iowa State with 11:02 remaining in the game. Then, Justin Coleman happened.
Coleman scored 15 of his team-high 18 points in the second half, willing Arizona to a 71-66 victory to begin its trip in Maui.
In a back-and-forth affair that featured 12 ties and five lead changes, the ‘Cats opened the game with a 10-0 run after Iowa State scored the first two baskets. With the game tied at 20 and 6:51 left in the first half, the Cyclones went on a 16-7 run to take a nine-point lead into halftime. Arizona shot just 30 percent for the half, including 14 percent from three.
Arizona opened the second half with a Ryan Luther 3 to cut the lead to six. Iowa State then used an 11-4 run to open up a double-digit lead, its largest of the game.
Whenever Arizona needed a basket in the second half, however, Coleman had an answer. Following a Brandon Randolph 3, Coleman answered with one of his own the next possession to cut the lead to just four. A layup by Coleman tied the game with 5:11 remaining, with his next two baskets answering scores by Iowa State, including a spinning step-back that tied things at 60-60 with 2:25 remaining.
The senior then answered with the biggest shot of the game, a transition 3 that gave Arizona its first lead of the second half at 63-60. Following three Iowa State free throws that tied the game with 1:01 remaining, Luther was fouled underneath the hoop with :39 seconds left, hitting two free throws to give Arizona the lead for good.
Coleman led a balanced effort that saw five Wildcats double figured. Brandon Williams had 14, Luther finished with 12 and Brandon Randolph and Chase Jeter had 11 and 10 points, respectively.
The win is big for a young Arizona team going forward, as their two leading scorers, Williams and Randolph, combined to shoot just 7-25 from the floor. The ‘Cats were out-rebounded by six and outscored in the paint by 14. Arizona was able to minimize these by holding Iowa State to 17 percent from three and just 37 percent from the floor during the second half.
The ‘Cats will take on the winner of the Illinois/Gonzaga game on Tuesday at 8:30 p.m.
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