No. 14 Arizona gets past Penn in Wooden semifinal

While the Wildcats were put to the test Friday night once again, they grinded their way to a 92-82 victory over Penn to secure a place in the championship game Sunday night against Wake Forest thanks to a masterful performance once again from Nico Mannion and the re-emergence of big man Chase Jeter.

Penn (4-3) was led by Jordan Dingle's career-high 27 points on 7-of-14 shooting from 3-point range. We can beat you around the basket.

In the end, though, it was freshman sensation Nico Mannion with the coast to coach Kadeem Allen like off the class running layup to win the game 93-91!

"As you would expect, he [Mannion] is going to continue to get better", Miller said.

"We're probably the only team in the country who has only played one home game", Donahue said.

"I was trying to be aggressive and make the right plays", Mannion said. "He's done a good job of finding me out of the trap". We were pushing the ball in transition and I think that's when we're at our best. "For the most part I've been pretty happy with our offense". It was the Mannion show! Jeter broke out with a season-high 19 points on 8-for-9 shooting, taking advantage of better looks afforded by defenses' understandably increasing interest in stopping Nnaji.

"A lot of team's have been scouting and seeing what he [Nnaji] is capable of", Jeter said.

"I think we're a good 3-point shooting team". They started to connect from three and ended up tieing it up late in the first half, but then the Wildcats had different plans and re-built their lead back up to eight points heading into the locker room.

It is becoming a trend, with Nnaji serving basically as a magnet to pull defenders away from everybody else. Penn has a forced-turnover percentage of only 16.2 percent through six games (ranking the Quakers 329th). "They beat a good, athletic UCF team here". They face an experienced and confident Demon Deacons team that the Wildcats will need to be ready right from the beginning.

From the start, the Quakers went to Brodeur at the post often for him to either shoot or pass out for a perimeter shot. We swing it and get open shots. The forward was a non-factor during the second half due to foul trouble.

AJ Brodeur led the Quakers with 23 points, extending his streak to 30 straight games scoring in double figures. Jordan Dingle (16.7 points), Ryan Betley (14.4 points, 6.7 rebounds) and Devon Goodman (12.6 points) are solid scoring options for coach Steve Donahue. The Quakers made 13 from beyond the arc, marking their third straight game in which they have made 11 or more.

UA led by up to 17 points in the second half but the Quakers cut it to just 82-78 with three minutes left after Dingle hit two 3-pointers in less than a minute and Brodeur made two free throws.

Arizona would take a 41-33 lead at halftime with an 11-2 run over the final 2:19. The Knights also dominated the turnover battle with 10 fewer than the Red and Blue.

Penn (4-3) trailed by 17 during the second half but got back in it with nine 3-pointers down the stretch.

But Mannion hit a 3 and an 18-footer from the left wing to help UA finish the half on an 11-3 run.

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