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COLLEGE BASKETBALL / NCAA TOURNAMENT

Game Report: Utah 76, Arizona 51

March 22, 1998|CHRIS FOSTER

FIRST HALF IN REVIEW

UTAH 29, ARIZONA 36

Utah's Andre Miller beat Michael Dickerson for a layup for the game's first basket. Miller would control the rest of the game at both ends. By halftime, he had eight points, seven rebounds, five assists and two steals. His play in Utah's triangle-and-two defenses disrupted the Wildcat offense. Arizona missed its first five shots and didn't score until A.J. Bramlett hit a turn-around to tie the score, 2-2, with 16:52 left. The pace, obviously, was to Utah's liking. Miller connected with Alex Jensen for a layup on a fastbreak with 9:59 left, giving the Utes more transition points than Arizona, 2-0. The Wildcats vaunted perimeter game was off: they made seven of their first 23 shots. Dickerson missed his first five shots, two were air-balls. Utah's defense made it difficult to get shots off, with the 6-foot-11 Michael Doleac altering several attempts. Mike Bibby and Jason Terry fired up back-to-back air-balls over Doleac's outstretched hand. On the other end, Doleac got few opportunities, but made the most of them. His layup with 2:45 left gave Utah a 28-19 lead. He also took Bramlett, who picked up three fouls, out of the game. By halftime, Jackson and Jensen had more points than Dickerson and Miles Simon.

* ARIZONA'S LEADING SCORERS: Bramlett 6, Bibby 4.

* ARIZONA'S LEADING REBOUNDERS: Bennett Davison 6, Bibby 3.

* OTHER STUFF: Arizona shot 27.6% in the half. . . . Simon missed all three of his shots. . . . Arizona had 21 points 10 minutes into the game against Maryland in Thursday's semifinal.

* UTAH'S LEADING SCORERS: Miller 8, Doleac 7.

* UTAH'S LEADING REBOUNDERS: Miller 7, Doleac 6.

* OTHER STUFF: Doleac didn't get a shot off for the first five minutes. . . . The Utes limited Arizona to two points on fastbreaks. . . . Utah shot 41.4%, but made five of its last 10 shots.

SECOND HALF IN REVIEW

UTAH 76, ARIZONA 51

Utah's Hanno Mottola, who had four points in the first half, scored the Utes' first six points, including a tip-in for a 35-25 lead. It started a 12-2 run and Arizona was never within single digits again. Simon tried to take over with 13 minutes left, but went one of three from the field and missed two free throws. With nine minutes left, Miller was called for a charge, which would have been his third foul, but another referee changed the call to a foul on Terry. Miller responded with back-to-back baskets, then fed Doleac for a layup and Utah was up, 58-36. Terry had three three-pointers in the second half, but no one else could sink a jump shot. Bibby was three of 15 for the game, Dickerson two of 12 and Simon one of nine. Miller went coast-to-coast for a layup and Utah led, 66-43. David Jackson scored on a layup for a 70-46 lead and the Utah bench began to celebrate. Alex Jensen made two free throws with 2:34 left and Coach Rick Majerus began to celebrate.

* ARIZONA'S LEADING SCORERS: Terry 16, Bramlett 10.

* ARIZONA'S LEADING REBOUNDERS: Davison 10, Bramlett 6.

* OTHER STUFF: The Wildcats shot 28.3% from the field and 54.2% from the foul line. . . . Arizona made only four of 22 three-pointers. . . . Bibby was 0 for 7 on three pointers. . . . Last team to beat Arizona in the NCAA tournament was Kansas in the 1996 West Regional semifinals.

* UTAH'S LEADING SCORERS: Miller 18, Doleac 16, Mottola 14.

* UTAH'S LEADING REBOUNDERS: Miller 14, Doleac 11, Jensen 10.

* OTHER STUFF: The Utes reached the final Four for the first time since 1966, when John Wooden had only two national titles. . . . Utah had four players score in double figures. . . . Miller had career-high 13 assists. . . . Utah shot 65.4% in the second half and 52.7% for the game. . . . The Utes did not try to carry Majerus off the court, not wanting to risk serious injury before the Final Four.

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