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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Bruins blast men’s hoops

    Wildcat forward Chase Budinger gets rejected by UCLAs Jerime Anderson during a 83-60 Bruin win Thursday night in Los Angeles. Budinger is now 0-5 in his college career against UCLA and the Wildcats are on an eight-game losing streak against the Bruins.
    Wildcat forward Chase Budinger gets rejected by UCLA’s Jerime Anderson during a 83-60 Bruin win Thursday night in Los Angeles. Budinger is now 0-5 in his college career against UCLA and the Wildcats’ are on an eight-game losing streak against the Bruins.

    LOS ANGELES – By the time UA interim head coach Russ Pennell called upon all his bench players, Pauley Pavilion looked more than half empty and Thursday night’s outcome was already well determined.

    It was a different story with the No. 7 Bruins as they used a deeper roster and balanced offense to put a 83-60 thumping on the Wildcats in Los Angeles.

    With the loss, Arizona (11-6, 2-3 Pacific 10 Conference) can only salvage a split on its southern California trip with Saturday’s game against USC.

    “”I think UCLA played a flawless game. That’s an all-around team for them,”” said UA forward Chase Budinger. “”Everybody on their team contributed for them. One through five, people were knocking down shots for them, getting to the basket and scoring points.””

    UCLA (14-2, 4-0) began building a marginal lead from the get-go. After entering the game with a reputation for using a well-balanced offense – a far contrast from last season’s concentration around Kevin Love’s dominant front-court offense – the Bruins certainly lived up to those standards.

    Five Bruins finished the game in double digits: Nikola Dragovic (15 points), Josh Shipp (13), Michael Roll (12), Alfred Aboya (12) and Darren Collison (12), and that balance led the Bruins to a collective 60 percent shooting performance from the floor.

    “”They’re the cream of the crop here in the Pac-10,”” Pennell said. “”There’s no question. There’s a reason they’ve been to three straight Final Fours. They’ve got good players and a lot of them.””

    Added UCLA coach Ben Howland: “”Our offense flowed tonight because we have a lot of good players. We have good balance, which makes us harder to defend.””

    During a second half that mostly consisted of a UCLA’s comfortable 20-point cushion, the Wildcats could only cut the deficit to 14 points on a few occasions. But as a team, UCLA shot 41 percent (7-of-17) from beyond the arc, often putting the dagger into any remote comeback opportunities.

    The Bruins led by as many as 26.

    “”They started shooting 3s and we just couldn’t get back on our man,”” forward Jordan Hill said. “”We made mistakes that cost us. They were going to take advantage of it by making plays. We just need to work on closing out hard.””

    Meanwhile, Budinger and Hill scored more than half of Arizona’s total of 60 points.

    Hill led the Wildcats, once again, with a game-high 22 points on 10-for-15 shooting and added eight rebounds. Although Arizona primarily used Hill as its go-to scorer, the junior couldn’t single-handedly hold the Wildcats’ ground from a static front-court attack.

    “”Jordan Hill was terrific from them. He’s a tough match-up,”” Howland said.

    The loss comes despite the season-long motivational tactic from UA associate coach Mike Dunlap, who tells the team they can beat UCLA in Pauley Pavilion.

    That’ll have to wait at least another year.

    ‘Cats Still winless on the road this season

    With Thursday’s loss in Los Angeles, the Wildcats not only remain winless in true away games this season, but those losses have all come with significant margins of defeat.

    After the one-point loss to Texas A&M in College Station, the Wildcats have suffered four straight double-digit defeats: UNLV (15 points), California (14 points), Stanford (16 points) and now UCLA (23 points).

    “”I don’t know man, just don’t know,”” Hill said when asked about the team’s road struggles. “”We just made mistakes. Just gotta play through them.””

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