Arizona Survived An Overtime Scare From TCU Thanks To Bennedict Mathurin’s 30-Point Night

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For the second straight day, a No. 1 seed got taken to overtime in the second round of the NCAA Tournament. After Baylor fell behind by 25, rallied to force OT, but ultimately lost to UNC on Saturday, it was Arizona’s turn to be pushed to the brink by a very game TCU squad.

The game was tight throughout the first half, with both teams trading leads before Arizona captured a three-point edge going to the break. In the second half it was more of the same until Bennedict Mathurin started to take over, highlighted by a monster dunk on TCU center Eddie Lampkin Jr., which sparked a run to put Arizona up nine.

However, the Horned Frogs had an answer in the form of Lampkin using his big body inside to start going to work in the paint, taking it to 7’1 center Christian Koloko and enjoying every minute of it, twice hitting the future first-rounder with a “too small” gesture after getting a bucket over him.

TCU held a 75-72 advantage with under 30 seconds left and Arizona turned to Mathurin for the biggest shot of the game, as he sidestepped into a game-tying three with 12 seconds to go.

What transpired from there was, well, madness, as TCU’s Mike Miles got trapped and pushed back to the halfcourt line, appearing to get knocked down for what should’ve been a foul or a backcourt violation. Instead, the referees called nothing and Dalen Terry picked the ball up and ran in for the game-winner, only he tried for a dunk instead of a lay-in and held onto the ball for too long, sending us to overtime.

The story of the overtime period was rebounding, in particular TCU’s inability to clear their defensive glass after getting needed stops down one possession. Twice in the final 90 seconds they allowed Arizona to get a putback bucket off an offensive board, first from Mathurin after a few misses from Kerr Kriisa in the corner.

After an empty trip from the Horned Frogs, there was still time for a stop and a game-tying three, but once again they failed to secure the glass and allowed Koloko to put an exclamation point on Arizona’s win with a putback slam when no one boxed him out from the perimeter.

Koloko finished the night with 28 points, 12 rebounds, and three blocks, while Mathurin led all scorers with 30 points along with eight boards and four assists. Those two did just about everything for the Arizona offense that could not buy a bucket from deep — Kriisa in particular struggled, going 1-for-10 from three-point range. Three TCU players reached 20 points on the night, led by 23 from Charles O’Bannon Jr., 20 points and 14 boards by Lampkin, and 20 from Miles. It seemed like they ran out of gas a bit late, and the defensive rebounding issues in overtime compounded matters and allowed the Wildcats to escape to the Sweet Sixteen and avoid becoming the second 1-seed to get knocked out after the first weekend.


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