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The Daily Wildcat

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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

All alone at the top

The No. 18 Arizona basketball team clinched sole possession of the Pacific 10 Conference regular season championship with a 90-82 win over Oregon at McKale Center on Saturday afternoon.

With the win, the Wildcats won their first Pac-10 title since the 2004-05 season, securing a undefeated 17-0 season at McKale Center.

“”It’s amazing,”” said forward Derrick Williams. “”It’s the reason I came here, it’s the reason we all came here, to try to win a Pac-10 title.””

Washington was the preseason pick to win the conference, but the Wildcats proved otherwise on Saturday.

“”Arizona is the best team in our league,”” Oregon head coach Dana Altman said. “”They won the conference. I think they have a chance to make a run.””

From tip-off it was evident that the Wildcats weren’t interested in sharing the Pac-10 title with anyone. Although, the Ducks did bring a late scare by cutting Arizona’s lead to six in the last five minutes, the Wildcats did enough in the end to seal their 12th Pac-10 title.

Led by three 3-pointers by Kyle Fogg to start the game, the Wildcats took the early lead and never trailed in the game.

Fogg scored a team high 20 points, going 3-for-3 from beyond the arc in just the first two minutes of the game, scoring the Wildcats first nine points

Solomon Hill added 14 points for the Wildcats, as Williams was limited with just 14 points and five rebounds while battling foul trouble throughout the afternoon.

Arizona led 41-32 at halftime and came out in the second half wasting no time by extending their lead to 17 points in the first four minutes of the second half.

But the Ducks rallied back and pulled to within seven points with 10 minutes remaining in the game after a dunk in transition by Oregon forward Tyrone Nared.

“”Games like this, it’s the last four minutes,”” Hill said. “”It was easier for them to make shots. It’s about finishing and we were up by 17 and only won by eight. It’s about closing.””

Sophomore forward Kevin Parrom added 11 points and a team leading five assists, while senior Jamelle Horne scored 10 points as he played his final game at McKale Center.

The Wildcats shot 59 percent from the field in the first half and 56 percent for the game. While Arizona shot the ball well throughout, the Ducks shot 64 percent in the second half, which allowed them to stay in the game late.

Oregon senior forward Joevan Catron led all scorers with 28 points, as Arizona allowed him to go one on one to prevent the Ducks from knocking down shots.

Arizona now has one goal for its remaining games.

“”No matter the environment, we just feed off the energy and keep winning,”” said Parrom.

Arizona cut down the nets on Saturday but still has some unfinished business in Los Angeles.

“”That’s just the first step,”” Williams said. “”Hopefully we can get the Pac-10 tournament too, one step at a time.””

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