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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Arizona turns the tide

    Arizona forward Chase Budinger drives to the basket during the second half of the No. 24 Wildcats 77-74 win at No. 13 Oregon Saturday. Budinger led the Wildcats with 30 points and 10 rebounds while hitting 12 of 21 shots.
    Arizona forward Chase Budinger drives to the basket during the second half of the No. 24 Wildcats’ 77-74 win at No. 13 Oregon Saturday. Budinger led the Wildcats with 30 points and 10 rebounds while hitting 12 of 21 shots.

    EUGENE, Ore. – Just call the Wildcats thieves.

    No. 24 Arizona committed grand larceny Saturday, escaping with a 77-74 win over No. 13 Oregon despite leading for less than three minutes of the second half.

    Senior Ivan Radenovic made a short turnaround jumper with six seconds left and senior Mustafa Shakur drew a charge on Oregon guard Aaron Brooks with two seconds left to help Arizona (17-7, 8-5 Pacific 10 Conference) steal one back from the Ducks (20-5, 8-5)

    Oregon used a late scoring run to win 79-77 in Tucson Jan. 14.

    “”They beat us there when we were up the whole game and they got a lead at the end, and that’s what we did (here),”” said Radenovic, who scored 16 points on 8-of-10 shooting.

    Shakur found Radenovic, who backed down forward Maarty Leunen after forward Chase Budinger couldn’t free himself off a screen. He turned to his right shoulder and released a shot that just got over the front rim.

    “”I wanted the ball on the last play,”” Radenovic said. “”Then (UA head) coach (Lute Olson) told us, ‘Don’t worry, he’s going to make this basket. Just make sure you defend after.'””

    Brooks, who struggled all day, going 2-of-14 from the field, took off down the court after Radenovic’s make, dribbled to the right side like he did in Tucson, but this time ran into Shakur and was called for a charge.

    “”It was iffy, but we’ll take it,”” said forward Marcus Williams, who had 16 points, nine rebounds and five assists.

    Budinger came back from a four-point effort against Oregon State Thursday to score 30 points and grab 10 rebounds while keeping Arizona within striking distance.

    The freshman missed his first three shots, but at one point scored eight straight Wildcat points and finished the game 12-of-21, including 4-of-8 from behind the 3-point line.

    “”I knew I’d be all right,”” Budinger said. “”I think I was a little anxious out there, had too much excitement, and once that went away, I’d be fine. I knew they would start going down.””

    Two Budinger free throws sealed the win, as Duck guard Tajuan Porter lost the ball near midcourt and couldn’t throw up a shot at the buzzer for the tie.

    “”He really came back well,”” said Williams, who shot only 1-of-6 in the first half. “”He wasn’t really himself Thursday, and he came back and played really well tonight. It shows the qualities of a good player if you can bounce back from a slow night.””

    Porter made a 3-pointer with 22 seconds left to give Oregon a 74-73 lead, capping an 8-0 run.

    The Wildcats took their first leadsince the first half, 68-66, with 3:53 left when Williams scored in the low post on a jump hook. Arizona hadn’t lead since the 5:40 mark in the first half.

    With the Wildcats trailing 64-55 with 7:19 left, Radenovic started an 18-2 run with six consecutive points, beginning with a put-back, following with a jump shot from the wing and ending with a driving left-handed hook.

    Guard Jawann McClellan’s 3-pointer cut the lead to two before Budinger’s jump shot tied the game at 66.

    “”I’m really proud of our guys as far as the way we were playing and the environment that we were playing in,”” Olson said. “”It was a tremendous effort mentally and physically.””

    After Williams gave Arizona a two-point lead, he followed with a fast-break dunk, which earned him a trip to the free-throw line as well. Williams missed the free throw but corralled the loose ball in the ensuing scrum, a play that eventually led to a Budinger 3.

    “”It shows our toughness and the type of players we have,”” Shakur said. “”Everything, you think, was going wrong, but we just kept fighting.””

    Arizona shot 52.8 percent in the second half after a 36.4-percent first half. It also made 5-of-9 3s in the second stanza compared to one of eight in the first.

    Shakur scored only three points on 1-of-11 shooting and had four turnovers against six assists.

    Budinger spurred a 10-2 run to start the second half, despite sitting on the bench for less than three minutes.

    Oregon went on a 7-0 run to stretch the lead back to 47-38, as Shakur continued to misfire.

    “”This is not a game he’ll want to remember very much,”” Olson said of Shakur, who didn’t practice all week because of a sprained right ankle.

    In the first half, there was no shortage of defensive breakdowns for Arizona. Guard Bryce Taylor, who scored only four of his 18 points after halftime, found roaming the baseline to be as easy as securing a pair of Nikes in Oregon. He beat Wildcat defenders for back-to-back dunks late in the second half.

    On Taylor’s second throw-downs, coming with 4:31 left to play, freshman forward Jordan Hill pinned the ball against the backboard, but Taylor still forced in the dunk and Hill was called for the foul. The play gave Oregon a 28-23 lead.

    With 2.6 seconds left, Hill stood on the baseline and threw a deep pass out of bounds that likely made former Oregon quarterback Joey Harrington cringe from his courtside seat in MacArthur Court.

    The miscue allowed Taylor to hit a wide-open layup with 1.6 seconds left and give Oregon a 38-28 halftime lead.

    Arizona stormed out to an early 13-6 lead, but Oregon climbed back with an 11-2 run.

    “”This ended up being a great college basketball game,”” said Oregon head coach Ernie Kent. “”It was a game of runs back and forth. Unfortunately, they made the last shot that they had, and we did not get an opportunity to make ours.””

    And 1

    Kent slipped and fell with 22.2 seconds left in regulation and was down for about a minute. Wearing a sling during the post-game press conference, Kent said he thought he tore his left rotator cuff. He had surgery on his right rotator cuff before the season.

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