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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Wildcats rout OSU yet again

    Arizona forward Jordan Hill leaps for a dunk in an 86-57 win over Oregon State last Wednesday in the Staples Center in Los Angeles. The Wildcats are happy they made it to the NCAA Tournament but wont be satisfied without a hot run.
    Arizona forward Jordan Hill leaps for a dunk in an 86-57 win over Oregon State last Wednesday in the Staples Center in Los Angeles. The Wildcats are happy they made it to the NCAA Tournament but won’t be satisfied without a hot run.

    No. 7 Arizona 87, No. 10 Oregon State 56

    LOS ANGELES – Coaching rumors, bubble talk and the possibility of a letdown against a team winless in league play did not phase the Arizona men’s basketball team last night.

    The Wildcats dominated Oregon State from the opening tip, running away with an 87-56 victory in the first round of the Pacific 10 Conference Tournament it the Staples Center in Los Angeles.

    “”I think mentally we got ready for this game,”” said UA forward Chase Budinger. “”It was a must-win game for us.””

    Arizona pounced all over the Beavers in the first half, reeling off runs of 11-2, 12-0, 9-0 and 14-2.

    By halftime the Wildcats led 59-21, marking the most points Arizona had scored in a half all season and breaking a Pac-10 Tournament record in that category originally set in 1987. It would have been the least the team had given as well if it weren’t for the 18 points it held the Beavers to in the first half last week in Corvallis, Ore.

    Arizona shot a blazing 71 percent from the field (22-for-31) in the half, including 8-for-11 on 3s (72.7 percent), while holding the Beavers to 26.7 percent shooting (8-for-20), including one long ball in 10 attempts.

    “”It was just one of those games,”” said UA guard Jawann McClellan. “”We were ready to come out and play, and everything was just falling for us, but most of all we played good defensively in the first half, and that was the main thing.””

    In a half littered with highlights, the Wildcats at one point hit five 3-pointers in just over three minutes and threw down dunk after dunk on fast-break opportunities.

    All five starters scored at least eight points but guard Nic Wise shined the brightest, filling up the box score with 13 points on 5-for-7 shooting, seven assists and five steals in the half, the latter of which tied a Pac-10 tournament record for a half set by former Wildcat Chris Rodgers.

    Behind Wise’s lead, the team assisted on 16 of its 22 baskets in the first half and then cruised the rest of the way.

    Five Wildcats scored in double figures and four had at least 14, marking the first time that many UA players have scored in double digits against a Division I opponent this season.

    “”That’s when we’re at our best when we’re moving the ball, looking for the open guy and we’re able to knock down shots when the guy gets the ball,”” Budinger said.

    Against the height-challenged Beavers, Hill also played a big role in the blowout, scoring a team-high 16 points on perfect 7-for-7 shooting while also grabbing eight rebounds.

    He continued his domination of the Beavers, as he has now averaged 17.3 points and 10.3 rebounds on 85.7 percent shooting (24-for-28) against Oregon State in their three games this year.

    Hill rattled the rims with four dunks including two in the first five minutes to energize the Wildcats and start the rout.

    “”I’m trying to help the team get a spark,”” Hill said. “”If it ain’t me, it’s either Chase, Jerryd, Jawann, Nic. It could be anybody. I guess it was me who was supposed to start the team, so I just came in there and jumped on them from the start.””

    Hill only played 22 minutes, but for once it had nothing to do with foul trouble.

    Just under eight minutes into the second half guards Jerryd Bayless and Jawann McClellan were the only starters on the floor. By the 9:21 mark the lineup included all reserves: center Kirk Walters, forwards Jamelle Horne, Fendi Onobun and Zane Johnson and guard Daniel Dillon.

    Every Wildcat played less than 30 minutes, which should be helpful with No. 2 seed Stanford on the docket tonight, especially for Wise and his surgically repaired right knee.

    “”It was nice,”” McClellan said. “”I know (UA interim head coach Kevin O’Neill) really didn’t want to do it – you know how he is – but it’s something that has to be done now because it is sudden death, and we needed this win.

    “”We did enough to deserve the rest, and now we have to get ready for Stanford.””

    And 1

    Walk-on guard David Bagga even appeared at the 2:40 mark and drilled a pair of free throws in the first game he’s ever played outside of McKale Center. The native of nearby Foothill Ranch, Calif., entered the game in front of 13 friends who came to see him.

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