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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Wildcats shaky but get job done

    UA forwards Chase Budinger and Bret Brielmaier fight for the ball with Californias Patrick Christopher during Arizonas 70-65 win over the Golden Bears last night in Berkley, Calif. Budinger had 18 points and team-high 12 boards.
    UA forwards Chase Budinger and Bret Brielmaier fight for the ball with California’s Patrick Christopher during Arizona’s 70-65 win over the Golden Bears last night in Berkley, Calif. Budinger had 18 points and team-high 12 boards.

    BERKELEY, Calif. – Arizona was shakier than the earthquake that shook Haas Pavillion early in the second half last night.

    The game trembled in the balance throughout and Arizona trailed 57-54 with eight minutes left, before pulling out a 70-65 win over California.

    “”Somebody asked me if I felt an earthquake. I felt 40 minutes of earthquakes,”” UA head coach Lute Olson said.

    Marcus Williams’s 3-point play catapulted the Wildcats on an 8-2 run to give them a 65-59 lead with 5:15 left to play, a lead they wouldn’t relinquish.

    Ayinde Ubaka, who led Cal with 15 points, missed a 3-pointer with 12 seconds left and Arizona (19-9, 10-7 Pacific 10 Conference) up 68-65 to seal the Wildcats season sweep over the Golden Bears (14-15, 6-11), and put them in a three way tie for fourth place in the conference with Stanford and Oregon.

    Williams scored a game high 21 points and Ivan Radenovic woke up from a three-game slump to add 19 points on 5-of-7 shooting from the field and 9-of-11 from the free throw line.

    The two received much needed help from forward Chase Budinger in an otherwise sloppy game, in which Arizona turned the ball over 16 times.

    There wasn’t much Budinger didn’t do. In between his duties as Arizona’s outside threat and its offensive rebounder, Budinger ran the point for a few minutes in the first half.

    Budinger scored 18 points, grabbed 12 rebounds and dished out four assists.

    He scored seven straight Arizona points to help extend a 45-44 lead to 52-47 in the second half, but Cal’s freshman Patrick Christopher kept up with Budinger practically step for step, scoring six straight Cal points and cutting the lead to 52-51.

    In the span that Arizona overtook Cal, Budinger found Williams twice, each time resulting in a trip to the line and extending the lead to 62-57.

    “”The more we play together the more we’re in sync and know what we’re gonna be doing,”” Williams said. “”I look for him and he looks for me and it’s been good when we’re a cohesive unit.””

    After three games in which he failed to score more than 11 points, Ivan Radenovic scored the most points since he had 20 Jan. 20 at UCLA.

    “”I was focused more for this game with my defensive assignments and also on offense, what shots I’m going to take and what I’m going to do on offense,”” Radenovic said. “”When I prepare myself as well as I did today, I’ll play well.””

    Once again, Arizona’s play was lackluster early. The Wildcats opened 2-of-7 from the field and had turnover problems again. They turned the ball over three times before the first timeout in the first six-and-a-half minutes after having eight in the first eight minutes at ASU and 12 in the first half at USC.

    To start the second half, Arizona turned it over twice in the first two minutes.

    “”Turnovers are a problem and many of those were out of control,”” Olson said.

    Arizona overcame a 21-13 deficit in the first half to lead 36-34 at halftime, as Mustafa Shakur drove right, turned 180 degrees and made a flip shot over his head as time expired.

    But that was the only shot he made from the field all night, as Shakur was 1-of-9 and turned the ball over five times.

    “”He’s been getting himself out of control and I think he’s trying too hard right now, pressing,”” Olson said.

    Olson said defensive matchups did not favor Jordan Hill during his weekly conference Tuesday and indeed Hill had trouble with Cal’s smaller lineup as Olson replaced him with Daniel Dillon after the first 1:38 in the first half. Hill came back in for less than a minute later in the half, but was quickly replaced again.

    “”It was tough for me on (Alex) Pribble, he was just quicker than me,”” Hill said.

    “”I felt that (Olson) did the right thing, he played the guys that can stay with him.””

    Despite its recent struggles, with some help Arizona can still finish as high as third in the Pac-10.

    “”We showed a lot of toughness and guts on the road, getting wins and just playing through everything,”” Shakur said. “”We’re making mistakes and we’re still winning, playing subpar as a team, myself also.

    “”We’re still getting wins, so imagine if we get everybody back collective on track.””

    And 1

    Cal head coach Ben Braun was hit with a technical foul for arguing over a Radenovic block on Theo Robertson … Shakur is eight assists shy of Damon Stoudamire for second place on Arizona’s career assist list.

    Earthshaking

    An earthquake measuring 4.2 shook Haas Pavillion with 17:35 left in the second half. It was centered about seven miles east, near Lafayette, Calif.

    The referees stopped the game briefly, but put the ball back in play after making sure the scoreboard and other necessities were
    operating properly.

    Mohamed Tangara, who did not play, was one of the few to realize what had just occurred.

    “”Nobody believed me,”” he said. “”They thought I was crazy.””

    Joked Cal head coach Ben Braun: “”Our place has been known to rock the house, I tried to explain to them (referees) that it was a real earthquake.””

    McClellan itching for PT

    Jawann McClellan said his knees are not the reason for his struggles.

    McClellan played 18 minutes and scored four points, after practicing all week for the first time this season.

    “”I’m fine, I’ve been fine all season, but it’s up to the coaches,”” he said. “”When I come in, I just have to play as hard as I can; when I’m out I have to support my teammates.””

    McClellan agreed that it was a relief to come back to practice but said he was “”frustrated”” by sitting on the bench for an extended period of time for the first time in his life.

    “”I’ve been wanting to be out there, it’s not like I don’t want to practice,”” he said. “”I was playing well pretty much the whole season and when your minutes get reduced, I’m not gonna sit up here and say it’s not frustrating, but you have to do what you can for the team.””

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