More steals, fewer turnovers tell big part of Arizona tale

Six swipes by Arenas set Final Four record

April 01, 2001|By Glenn P. Graham | Glenn P. Graham,SUN STAFF

MINNEAPOLIS - In its 80-61 win over Michigan State last night, Arizona literally stole the show.

The telling stat was the Wildcats had more steals (12) than turnovers (eight), and sophomore guard Gilbert Arenas led the way.

Arenas had a Final Four-record six steals and turned the ball over just once, with a team-high seven assists also thrown in.

"As a team, we've been trying over the last couple months to really concentrate on trying to keep the turnovers under 10," said Arizona coach Lute Olson. "Obviously, we haven't done that very often, but that's a good time to do it."

"I knew Jason Gardner was fast; I didn't know about Arenas," said the Spartans' Zach Randolph, shaking his head. "They're fast. They're the fastest guards we've ever played against."

Arenas had to leave the game in the second half with a stinger in his neck and shoulder. He left the court for about 25 minutes, but returned with 9:17 to go and is expected to be able to play tomorrow night.

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