Wildcat guards struggle in victory

2010-11-19T00:00:00Z 2012-11-30T19:34:06Z Wildcat guards struggle in victoryPatrick Finley Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star
November 19, 2010 12:00 am  • 

The Arizona Wildcats' starting point guard had a dull edge, and their top shooting guard couldn't.

If not for Derrick Williams' 27 points and 14 rebounds in an 83-57 win Thursday over New Mexico State, the play of guards MoMo Jones and Kyle Fogg might be a bigger story.

"You could make the argument," UA coach Sean Miller said, "that it's really hard to win when your starting 'two' guard and point guard were 2 for 14."

It is, but they did.

Jones and Fogg turned in matching 1-for-7 lines from the field.

Jones, a sophomore, made a layup and a free throw to finish with three points.

Fogg, a junior, landed a three-pointer with 4:49 to play - the first field goal by a starting UA guard - and added a free throw to total four points.

"Last year, missing all those shots, I would have just crumbled," Fogg said. "But this year, I try to look at other ways I can affect the game - just penetrating and finding D-Will helped the team win.

"That's all I'm trying to do here."

Fogg found Williams with a couple of no-look passes, and Jones finished with five assists.

No New Mexico State guard scored in double figures.

"This game is played on both sides of the court," Aggies coach Marvin Menzies said. "I thought their guards did great."

NMSU forward Troy Gillenwater, who led his team with 25 points, said that "just because they didn't score doesn't necessarily mean they didn't play well."

But at a school with a history of masterful guard play, the shooting numbers have to be disconcerting.

Jones has made 3 of 12 field goal attempts all season. His 4.5 points per game trail little-used center Kyryl Natyazhko.

"I think MoMo's a better shooter than he's shown so far," Miller said. "What we don't want to do is have that be how he's defined.

"He's a good defensive player. We're counting on him to get better. In transition, we're counting on him to make better plays."

Miller cited Boston Celtics' Rajon Rondo, a star despite his career 48.8 percent shooting and 24.9 percent three-point mark.

Rondo's speed, defense and court vision - he's averaging 14.9 assists this season - make up for it.

"I know that MoMo is not Rondo," he said. "But you can see there are a lot of things you can do to help your team win if you're not a good shooter."

Fogg admitted that he "couldn't hit anything," Thursday but that Williams' play helped ease the pain.

"He dunked the ball," Fogg said, "every time I passed it to him."

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