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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    One and Done

    March 16, 2007 Arizonas Chase Budinger sits in the locker room after  Arizonas first round NCAA tournament game against Purdue, Friday March 16, 2007 at the New Orleans Arena in New Orleans. Arizona lost to Purdue 72-63.
    Chris Coduto
    March 16, 2007 Arizona’s Chase Budinger sits in the locker room after Arizona’s first round NCAA tournament game against Purdue, Friday March 16, 2007 at the New Orleans Arena in New Orleans. Arizona lost to Purdue 72-63.

    NEW ORLEANS – The NCAA Tournament began and ended for Arizona on Friday.

    Any thought that the Wildcats could just turn it on was quickly forgotten.

    Nothing changed just because the lights were brighter at New Orleans Arena and No. 8 seed Arizona (20-11) went home with a 72-63 loss to No. 9 Purdue (22-11).

    Early turnovers, missed layups, erratic point-guard play and open 3-pointers for the opposition.

    That’s been life with the Wildcats this season.

    “”The whole season, you never know which Arizona team is going to show up,”” said guard Jawann McClellan, who scored 12 points off the bench. “”Some nights we look great and some nights we look like we don’t even deserve to be playing for coach Olson and wearing an Arizona uniform.””

    On this night, the Wildcats played more like the latter. They were outrebounded 19-9 on the offensive glass and pummeled by Purdue forward Carl Landry, who scored 21 points and pulled down 13 rebounds.

    They shot 4-of-15 from 3-point range and turned the ball over 17 times. They didn’t have to hold their breath for the first turnover to come because it came on the first possession.

    The second one was near too. On the next possession, senior guard Mustafa Shakur kicked the ball off his foot but was the beneficiary of a good call. Forward Chase Budinger was stripped 34 seconds later and another 38 seconds later Shakur had the first of his eight turnovers.

    “”As a point guard you have to take responsibility for anything that goes on,”” Shakur said.

    In his last game for Arizona, Shakur didn’t have nearly the type of tournament he had last season in Philadelphia.

    “”He did so well last year, and then he just got off to a horrible start with turnovers, and that’s like sticking a needle in a balloon,”” UA head coach Lute Olson said.

    Forward Jordan Hill didn’t get in foul trouble but missed his only field-goal attempt, a layup, and found himself on the bench after six minutes.

    He said he had no idea what he did wrong, but Olson said Hill was “”pushed all over the place”” by Landry.

    “”I know I made one quick turnover, but I really don’t know,”” said Hill, who only came back in with seconds remaining in the game. “”I was on the bench, and I wanted to ask Coach why he’s not playing, but I was just waiting for him to put me in.

    “”When I got in, I was fronting him like I was supposed to, doing everything the way they told me to do it, but got taken out. I can’t tell you what the problem was.””

    Landry made all eight of his free throws and grabbed five offensive rebounds. The Boilermakers scored 30 points in the paint to Arizona’s 22 and turned the ball over just eight times.

    “”The thing that killed us is we played good defense and all of a sudden there is a rebound, and Landry is so much more physical than we are,”” Olson said. “”He’d go up, and he’d look like he was throwing a rock in a chicken coup, guys are just flying all over the place. I’m at a loss when I look at stats and see some guys that should be good rebounders.””

    Forward Ivan Radenovic led Arizona with nine rebounds, but forward Marcus Williams only had one.

    The Wildcats led just once at 25-24 on a McClellan jump shot with 6:05 left in the first half. Purdue answered with an 8-0 run to lead 32-25, even though the Boilermakers missed opportunities to take full command.

    Arizona cut the lead to as low two in the second half. With Arizona down 55-52, the Boilermakers made their run.

    Purdue guard David Teague drove to the basket and pulled up for a short jump shot. Radenovic followed by missing a two-foot bank shot, causing Olson to stomp down the sideline because he thought there was a foul on the play.

    The next possession, two Wildcat defenders converged on the same man – who did not have the ball – and Purdue guard Chris Kramer, who didn’t have a defender within 10 feet, caught a pass for an easy layup, giving Purdue a 59-52 lead.

    “”There were times where we really defended well and then they got a second shot and we defended really well and they got a third shot, that killed us,”” Olson said.

    Arizona’s leading scorer Williams attempted just one shot in the first 14 minutes and Radenovic couldn’t find the stroke from the outside, shooting 4-of-11 and missing both of his 3-pointers.

    Budinger led Arizona with 15 points but was second on the team with four turnovers.

    “”When you start off a game like that, it always puts negativity on the team,”” Budinger said of Arizona’s four turnovers in four minutes.

    Arizona’s output of 63 points was its lowest since it scored 59 against Wisconsin in a second-round upset in 2000 when Arizona was a No. 1 seed.

    Kramer and guard Chris Lutz each added 16 points for Purdue, and Teague scored 15 for a scrappy Boilermaker team that shot 38 percent from the field.

    “”Hard work and toughness beat a lot of talent,”” Radenovic said.

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