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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Weekend domination complete

    Sophomore Jordan Hill, left, attempts a shot over Washingtons Jon Brockman in Arizonas 84-69 win over the Huskies. The victory over Washington marked Arizonas first Pac-10 weekend sweep of the season.
    Sophomore Jordan Hill, left, attempts a shot over Washington’s Jon Brockman in Arizona’s 84-69 win over the Huskies. The victory over Washington marked Arizona’s first Pac-10 weekend sweep of the season.

    Thirty minutes before tipoff between the Arizona men’s basketball team and Washington on Saturday afternoon, a Snoop Dogg song bumped through the speakers of McKale Center.

    UA forward Jamelle Horne danced to the song during the team’s shootaround as forward Jordan Hill mouthed the lyrics.

    “”Drop it like it’s hot, Drop it like it’s hot.””

    The Wildcats (14-6, 4-3 Pacific 10 Conference) continued to have fun through the game, dropping 62.2 percent of thier shots en route to an 84-69 win over the Huskies (12-8, 304 Pac-10) before a crowd of 14,602. It was the team’s highest shooting percentage since Nov. 19 when it shot 64.1 against Missouri-Kansas City.

    “”Sometimes the basket looks as big as a swimming pool,”” said interim head coach Kevin O’Neill.

    Guard Jerryd Bayless (26) and forwards Chase Budinger (25) and Jordan Hill (16) combined for 67 of the Wildcats’ points, shooting 22-for-34 from the field as a trio. Budinger and Bayless hit 10 of the team’s 13 three-pointers, a season high for the team behind the arc.

    “”Right now we’re playing great basketball,”” said Bayless, who shot 9-for-11 from the field in 29 minutes. “”On the offensive end, we’re sharing the ball, everybody’s getting touches and everybody’s scoring. I think if we continue to do that, the sky’s the limit.””

    Guard Jawann McClellan, who had seven points on 3-for-4 shooting, credited the team’s scoring to extra shooting during lighter practices. Bayless said he and Budinger have been playing one-on-one games after practices where the first one to score 10 points wins.

    “”We both win,”” Bayless said with a smirk.

    No Wildcat shot under .500 percent except for forward Zane Johnson, who missed his only field goal attempt of the contest.

    O’Neill and the players all agreed it was the team’s steady ball movement that made for more uncontested shots and a higher frequency of made shots. The Wildcats netted 28 field goals and had 20 assists – six each coming from Bayless and guard Nic Wise.

    “”Teammates are getting us the ball in the right places, and we’re able to knock down shots,”” Budinger said. “”Both me and Jerryd – I can speak for him as well – our shots are feeling well right now.””

    The Huskies shot 52.6 percent from the field, with 34 of their points coming in the paint – including 24 from forward Jon Brockman alone.

    Despite a great effort from Brockman, who scored his team-high 24 points in just 27 minutes due to early foul trouble, the Huskies couldn’t catch up to the Wildcats in the second half.

    A trey by Bayless gave the Wildcats their largest lead of the game, 79-53, with 4:53 left. It was just part of Bayless’ 18-point, 5-for-6 second-half highlight reel.

    “”Those guys have a complete green light as long as they shoot good shots,”” O’Neill said of Bayless and Budinger.

    After 21 personal fouls were called in the first half – nine on Arizona – Johnson, Horne, Wise, guard Daniel Dillon and center Kirk Walters were on the court for the Wildcats in the final minute. But the unusual lineup didn’t stop the team from finishing the half on a high note.

    Five points from Wise in the final minute gave the Wildcats a 45-32 lead at halftime after a half in which Arizona shot a blistering 69.9 percent (16-of-23), compared to Washington’s 46.6 percent (13-of-28).

    “”We played through some foul trouble in the first half, but Nic stepped up and gave us a little bit of momentum going into halftime,”” O’Neill said. “”We got a couple of stops with kind of an unlikely lineup out there.””

    Arizona started off on fire, hitting six of its first seven shots from the field to take a 13-5 lead less than four minutes into the game. The Huskies led 17-16 seven minutes into the first half with two free throws by forward Quincy Pondexter but Arizona got up and never looked back.

    “”As a whole, we’re shooting well right now,”” said McClellan, who demonstrated a brief victory dance at the end of the game. “”As for Chase and Jerryd, they’re doing what they’re supposed to do.””

    And 1

    McClellan was elbowed above his right eye while taking a charge late in the first half. He was taken to the locker room and given at least four stitches. …

    McClellan said he talked to head coach Lute Olson on the phone before Thursday’s bout with No. 6 Washington State. He said Olson told him to shoot more. …

    UA forward Bret Brielmaier missed his third straight game because of a sprained right shoulder. O’Neill said he’s “”under the understanding”” Brielmaier will try to play Thursday at USC. …

    With a game-high 11 rebounds, Hill recorded his first double-double since Arizona’s overtime loss to ASU in Tempe on Jan. 9 when he had 18 points and 14 rebounds. …

    Walters started the game for the fourth time this season, but only played eight minutes. He pulled down two defensive rebounds and scored a point from the foul line.

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