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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Bagga’s 3 completes UA’s win over Stanford

    Arizona 101, Stanford 87

    For the first 39:48, it was Junior Day. But when David Bagga released the ball, it was Senior Day.

    With 12 seconds left, Bagga, a UA men’s basketball senior walk-on, fired a 3-pointer just for the heck of it and it went in, giving him his 20th, 21st, and 22nd points of his career.

    It was a sweet ending to a 101-87 win against Stanford in McKale Center.

    “”I thought I was going to miss, that’s why I yelled, ‘short,'”” Bagga said, smiling. “”But I’m just glad we won.””

    Bagga and senior Fendi Onobun -ÿwho scored 4 points in as many minutes – were honored for their four years of service to the Wildcats’ program. But it was Arizona’s three starting juniors, -ÿChase Budinger, Jordan Hill and Nic Wise – who were the reason for the UA’s win over Stanford (17-12, 6-12 Pacific 10 Conference) in McKale Center on Saturday evening.

    The juniors combined to score 75 of Arizona’s points in the final regular season game.

    Budinger registered 28 points, 5 rebounds and 5 assists. Wise scored 27 points and dished out 9 assists. Hill netted 20 and pulled down eight boards.

    “”All three of us played well tonight,”” Budinger said. “”We all stepped up for our team. Nic was the head of the dog tonight. He played tremendously, didn’t force the issue, found guys when they were open, and really just led us.””

    With the win, Arizona (19-12, 9-9 Pac-10) matched its win total from last season, when the Wildcats went to the NCAA Tournament and lost in the first round.

    Arizona will face No. 21 ASU in the Pac-10 Tournament on Thursday. The Sun Devils have beaten the Wildcats in the teams’ last four matchups.

    “”We want to redeem ourselves against them and really try to play hard,”” Budinger said. “”… We just want to try to play like we did (Saturday) night.””

    Though Arizona shot the lights out, making 35-of-50 shots (70 percent) from the floor, and led by as many as 16 points in the game, the Wildcats couldn’t quite pull away from Stanford.

    The Cardinal made 15-of-33 shots from beyond the arc, led by Jeremy Green’s 6-for-10 shooting from long range. Green paced his team with 22 points off the bench.

    “”Every time somebody hits that many 3s, my e-mail triples,”” said UA interim head coach Russ Pennell.

    The Wildcats came out of halftime scoring five straight points, but the Cardinal retaliated with a 10-0 run that cut their deficit to 55-49.

    Then the Wildcats responded with a 11-2 run of their own, shifting the score to 66-54 at the 13:03 mark.

    With 2:38 left, Wise unselfishly tossed the ball to Hill in the lane, setting up a one-handed dunk that gave Hill his final points of the game and putting the Big Three at 20 points or higher apiece. The Wildcats went ahead 88-76 on the slam and never looked back.

    “”I was very proud of the way we came out today, especially after Thursday’s loss (to California),”” Pennell said. “”To me, that’s one of the best characteristics of this team.””

    And 1

    Arizona is now 9-0 when scoring 80 points or more.

    Saturday’s attendance was 14,723, which was the second-most since Lute Olson became Arizona’s head coach in 1983.

    Thursday night’s attendance, 14,729, was the highest attendance in McKale Center since Olson began coaching the Wildcats.

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