Arizona head coach Sean Miller yells to his team during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game against Providence at the Wooden Legacy tournament, Friday, Nov. 27, 2015, in Fullerton, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
Mark J. Terrill
November 28, 2015

FULLERTON, Calif. (AP) With three starters in foul trouble, Providence had lost much of its firepower and the lead.

Arizona was on a big run, building a seven-point advantage, and Friars star Kris Dunn was on the bench for an excruciating 5-minute stretch.

Coach Ed Cooley turned to Dunn, telling him, ''Yo man, you got us here, we're going to ride your coattails all year.''

Dunn went back in, scored Providence's last 10 points and the Friars upset the 11th-ranked Wildcats 69-65 Friday night in the semifinals of the DirecTV Wooden Legacy.

''That was an exhausting, exhausting game,'' said Cooley, who was on his feet all game, swearing, berating and finally urging on his team.

After Providence's Rodney Bullock picked up his fourth foul during Arizona's 22-9 run, Cooley bellowed, ''We're going to win this game.''

Providence will play third-ranked Michigan State (6-0) in the title game Sunday night.

Ben Bentil scored a career-high 21 points for the Friars (6-0) and Dunn finished with 19. Bentil, Bullock and Dunn all had four fouls.

''Our team made some big plays,'' Dunn said. ''It was just a great team win. Ben really stepped up for us.''

Ryan Anderson had 27 points and 12 rebounds for the Wildcats (5-1) and Gabe York added 10.

Dunn picked up his fourth foul during that Wildcats run that led to their biggest lead, 58-51. Anderson scored nine points in the spurt that was capped by York's 3-pointer.

The Friars ran off eight straight to lead 59-58.

Anderson scored and York hit another 3 to give Arizona its last lead, 63-59.

That's when Dunn started his scoring spree. Anderson's two free throws in the middle of it tied the game for the sixth and last time in the half at 65-all.

Dunn hit a turnaround jumper for a 67-65 lead, and his fastbreak jumper off Parker Jackson-Cartwright's turnover sealed the win. It was one of the Wildcats' season-high 21 turnovers.

''Kris had a very hard-fought night. We weren't giving him anything,'' Arizona coach Sean Miller said. ''That also tells you how good he is. At the end of the game, you're kind of at his mercy. He was tremendous down stretch.''

Dunn went 7 of 9 from the floor, had eight assists, one turnover and two steals.

Neither team led by more than four points in the first half, when Dunn was limited to six points in 9 minutes because of two fouls. Arizona led 34-33 at the break on a jumper by Kadeem Allen.

TIP-INS

Providence: The Friars' point guard in their 1997 NCAA Tournament regional final loss to Arizona was God Shammgod, now a grad assistant for the team. ... The team is in the event for the first time since 2008, when the Friars went 1-2.

Arizona: Starting C Kaleb Tarczewski sat out with an injured left ankle; he got hurt in Thursday's OT win against Santa Clara. ''I'm confident it isn't any long term,'' said Miller, who wasn't sure if Tarczewski would be available Sunday. ... The last time the Wildcats played the Friars, Arizona won 96-92 in OT to advance to the 1997 Final Four. The Wildcats beat Kentucky to win the national title that year. ... Anderson is playing in the event for the second time after being with Boston College in 2011, when the Eagles finished sixth.

DUNK THAT'S NOT A DUNK

Bullock and most everyone inside Titan Gym thought he'd dunked early in the second half. The ball went through the hoop and hit a player's head underneath, popping the ball straight back up through the hoop. The referees ruled no basket.

''Come on, man,'' Cooley said. ''When something is that obvious, that's got to be a reviewable thing. You can't blame the officials, they went on their gut but that should be a reviewable deal. The kid's head was in the net; it looked like the Globetrotters when it popped back out.''

TITLE RUN ENDS

The Wildcats had won each of their last three early-season tournaments: last year's Maui Invitational, the 2013 NIT Season Tip-Off and the 2012 Diamond Head Classic.

''You lose one, it's a different feeling,'' Miller said. ''We haven't experienced that in a long, long time.''

UP NEXT

Providence plays No. 3 Michigan State in the title game Sunday night at Honda Center in nearby Anaheim.

No. 11 Arizona plays Boise State in the third-place game at Honda Center.

You May Like