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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    A night of shooting stars

    Arizona forward Marcus Williams goes up for a shot over Washington center Spencer Hawes during the second half of the No. 7 Wildcats 96-87 win at No. 24 Washington Thursday. Williams scored 22 points in his return to his hometown of Seattle, including eight straight for Arizona at one point.
    Arizona forward Marcus Williams goes up for a shot over Washington center Spencer Hawes during the second half of the No. 7 Wildcats’ 96-87 win at No. 24 Washington Thursday. Williams scored 22 points in his return to his hometown of Seattle, including eight straight for Arizona at one point.

    No. 7 Arizona 96, No. 24 Washington 87

    Thought last year’s 96-95 double-overtime thriller at Washington couldn’t be topped?

    Think again.

    Arizona didn’t need overtime to put up 96 points, but the Wildcats did overcome a 14-point deficit to win their 12th consecutive game 96-87 at Bank of America Arena in Seattle Thursday night.

    The only time No. 24 Washington (10-4, 0-3 Pacific 10 Conference) couldn’t score was in the last four minutes, as No. 7 Arizona (12-1, 3-0) finally pulled away with a 9-0
    run, holding the Huskies scoreless for over four minutes until forward Jon Brockman made a meaningless free throw with 24 seconds left.

    “”I think this team really feels down deep that it’s really difficult to beat them,”” said UA associate head coach Jim Rosborough. “”They’re not cocky, they’re not big headed, but I really do think that they feel like going into every game they’re going to win. We got down 14, and that wasn’t pleasant, but we kept our poise.””

    Washington had won six of the last eight meetings between the two squads, but every game came with the warning label: could reach dangerously high speeds.

    And this game was no different, with Arizona shooting a scorching 65 percent from the field (76.2 percent in the second half) and 55 percent from 3-point range while Washington neared those numbers at 54 and 47 percent, respectively.

    “”We shot the daylights out,”” UA assistant coach Josh Pastner said. “”They shot it real well too, but that’s what won us the game was our perimeter shooting and our free throw shooting.””

    Four Wildcats scored over 20 points, led by forward Chase Budinger’s 23 points.
    The fast-paced, end-to-end action left no time for fans in the sold out Bank of America Arena to take a break.

    A trip to the bathroom and you may have missed Arizona’s 15-0 run over less than two and a half minutes to take a 46-45 lead in the first half.

    Or you could have missed Washington serving Arizona a taste of its own medicine with a 22-4 run of its own to take a 45-31 point lead several minutes earlier.

    Glancing over at the cheerleaders you could have glanced right past Seattle native Marcus Williams scoring eight consecutive Arizona points at one point.

    Or forward Ivan Radenovic’s thunderous one-handed dunk.

    Or guard Mustafa Shakur stepping up and confidently knocking down 3-pointers on back to back possessions.

    Williams and guard Jawann McClellan each scored 22 points, but while Williams shot 10-of-14 and didn’t make a 3-pointer, McClellan hit six 3s to tie his career-high point total. Shakur, meanwhile had a businesslike 21 points and 11 assists.

    Blink and you could have missed one of Washington freshman Quincy Pondexter’s dazzling spin moves. Pondexter’s father, Roscoe, played for Olson at Long Beach State, but the younger Pondexter, who Arizona recruited, gave Olson’s squad a load to handle. The 6-foot-7 forward, who came off the bench for the first time this season, scored more points in the first half than he did in his last two games combined.

    Washington’s second-leading scorer at 14 points per game averaged eight points and four turnovers in two losses at USC and No. 1 UCLA last weekend to earn his demotion, but Thursday night Pondexter made his first six shots en route to tying a career high with 25 points.

    “”It’s just like (forward) Lawrence Hill of Stanford,”” Rosborough said. “”We recruited him and they go to some other school, and they want to come out and show us that we made a mistake. He was really good. He spun on us, he posted up on us a couple of times. He was very, very aggressive, very, very good.””

    The Wildcats started the game 9-of-12 from the field and led by as many as seven points before Pondexter and the Huskies caught fire.

    After Washington took its 14-point lead, Arizona responded with its 15-0 spurt. McClellan got things started with a 3-pointer and Budinger was fouled off the ball during the play.

    “”That stopped the bleeding,”” Pastner said.

    Budinger made both of his free throws for the unusual five point play. McClellan made two more 3-pointers during the run.

    Washington shot 59 percent in the first half, while the Wildcats shot 57 percent and neither team missed a free throw in 17 attempts.

    Brockman and freshmen Spencer Hawes and Phil Nelson all scored 16 points for Washington.

    Arizona next plays Washington State (13-2, 2-1) on Saturday at 8 p.m. in a game televised on FSNA. The Cougars defeated ASU 75-55 Thursday.

    “”I think we’re playing really well together,”” Pastner said. “”I think the chemistry is good. There’s a lot of good things to be excited about and to look forward to.””

    And 1

    Forward Bret Brielmaier hurt his right knee in the pre-game shootaround and was not available to play. Rosborough said Brielmaier made a cut and injured the knee on a non-contact move, saying, “”It was a freak thing.””

    Brielmaier will come back to Tucson Friday and have the knee examined. He will have a thorough examination on Sunday, and if doctors “”need to make a move on it”” that will occur on Monday. Rosborough was not sure how long Brielmaier will be out for.

    “”We hope it’s just a strain,”” Rosborough said.

    “”We could have used him tonight without question,”” he added. …

    Former guard J.P. Prince has now officially transferred to Vanderbilt, according to an ESPN report. He originally decided to leave the UA program Dec. 20.

    “”I think he’ll do very well there,”” Pastner said. “”J.P.’s going to be very, very good. He’s a very good player and a great kid, and he’ll do very well at Vanderbilt.”” …

    UA starters scored all 96 points, and Arizona did not substitute for the first 15 minutes of the second half before guard Daniel Dillon replaced Budinger. The freshman returned about a minute later as the starters finished the job. …

    The Wildcats snapped Washington’s 16-game home-court winning streak. The Huskies had won 49 of their last 51 home games, including a 32-game win streak that Arizona snapped with its victory in Seattle last season. …

    Washington, who entered the contest leading the conference in rebounding at 42.5 per game, outrebounded the Wildcats 28-20 in a game that featured few misses.

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