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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    “Arizona stops the bleeding, whips Washington”

    Arizona forward Jordan Hill goes for a reverse layup over Washington center Spencer Hawes during the second half of No. 20 Arizonas game against Washington Saturday in McKale Center. Arizona beat Washington 84-54, and Hill led the Wildcats with career highs in points (16) and blocks (five).
    Arizona forward Jordan Hill goes for a reverse layup over Washington center Spencer Hawes during the second half of No. 20 Arizona’s game against Washington Saturday in McKale Center. Arizona beat Washington 84-54, and Hill led the Wildcats with career highs in points (16) and blocks (five).

    Arizona’s wounds have healed – or at least Saturday morning’s game put a bandage on the Wildcats’ woes. No. 20 Arizona bruised Washington 84-54 and ended its shooting problems for the time being, making 57.4 percent of its shots to win for just the third time in the last nine games.

    Arizona (15-7, 6-5 Pacific 10 Conference) held Washington (14-8, 4-7) to its second-lowest offensive output of the season, and the Huskies shot 38.1 percent from the field and 15 percent on 3s.

    “”We shot the ball so well, and they shot so poorly … we’ve been there so we know,”” UA head coach Lute Olson said.

    Freshman Jordan Hill, who made his third start of the season – this time in place of guard Jawann McClellan, led Arizona with career highs of 16 points and five blocked shoots to go along with eight rebounds. Olson said he would continue to start Hill and bring McClellan off the bench in future games. Hill’s presence helped Arizona hold Washington’s big men, Jon Brockman and Spencer Hawes, to 16 points combined

    “”He helped a lot because he’s real aggressive on both ends of the floor as far as offensively and defensively, attacking the basket and attacking the shot,”” said forward Marcus Williams, who scored 11 points and dished out six assists in his return to the starting lineup. “”He helps a lot by cleaning up mistakes on defense. Obviously, someone gets by to try to have a layup, he doesn’t have to block it, he just gets a hand up.””

    While Hill was scoring inside, forward Chase Budinger and McClellan picked up the slack from the perimeter. Budinger and McClellan each scored 15 points and helped spark a first-half rally that put the game out of reach.

    “”Me and Chase, we always talk about we have to be more aggressive and get our shots to fall, and we did that today,”” said McClellan, who also made six of seven free throws.

    With Arizona up 17-16 and 10:28 remaining in the first half, McClellan, who came off the bench for the first time this season, spurred a 28-10 end to the half. The junior made a free-throw line jumper followed by a 3-pointer from his favorite corner spot and scored 10 points in the extended spurt.

    “”He’s really good as far as coming in and being an energy and not just shooting the basketball but as a person and the type of player that he is,”” Williams said.

    McClellan also capped a 13-0 run early in the second half that built Arizona’s lead up to 65-32 with a one-handed tomahawk dunk as he cocked his right hand back to throw it down.

    Budinger’s 3-point shooting problems appeared to be driven away as well. Budinger made all three of his 3s in the half and scored all but two of his points in the first half.

    “”Shooting is contagious a little bit on both sides,”” Williams said. “”If a lot of people are missing shots sometimes you just can’t get yourself out of the hole, so Chase came in and knocked one down, Jawann, obviously we know he can shoot the ball, came in and knocked some down.””

    The Wildcats shot over 50 percent in each half, hitting at a 59.3-percent clip in the first followed by a 55.6-percent rate in the second half and made 5-of-12 3-pointers. Senior point guard Mustafa Shakur, who was playing with a bad ankle according to McClellan, scored only two points but dished out eight assists.

    “”You gotta give credit to ‘Staf, fighting through his ankle injury, just being out there and wanting to give it his all,”” McClellan said.

    Coming off the bench for McClellan may have been a new concept this year, but the Houston native said he wasn’t bothered by it at all. In fact he said “”he hopes”” Saturday’s lineup becomes a fixture.

    “”You have to put your ego aside, but I told Jordan before the game that I’m ready to step up,”” McClellan said.

    “”You got the emergence of Jordan Hill and you can’t take Ivan out on the offensive end,”” he added.

    McClellan and Olson chatted during the week about McClellan’s role and Olson told McClellan he had the chance to play the part of Jason Terry. Terry gave up his starting spot midseason to Miles Simon on the 1997 national championship team and wound up winning a National Player of the Year Award in his senior season, the year after.

    “”We need somebody coming off the bench that’s going to (bring) excitement,”” Olson said. “”We’ve been coming off with Jordan, but he’s not really that kind of kid. I think Jordan obviously is a whole lot better if he’s a starter.

    “”Jawann is the kind of guy that he just wants the team to win. He’s going to do whatever it takes for that to happen.

    “” I think he’s going to be great in that role.””

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