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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    A sad Senior Day

    Arizona guard Mustafa Shakur is tripped up by UCLA guard Arron Afflalo during the second half of the No. 19 Wildcats 81-66 loss to the No. 5 Bruins Saturday in McKale Center. Shakur scored 17 points and passed out six assists in the Senior Day loss.
    Arizona guard Mustafa Shakur is tripped up by UCLA guard Arron Afflalo during the second half of the No. 19 Wildcats’ 81-66 loss to the No. 5 Bruins Saturday in McKale Center. Shakur scored 17 points and passed out six assists in the Senior Day loss.

    After making several runs early, the No. 19 Arizona men’s basketball never seriously threatened No. 5 UCLA, who led wire to wire, in an 81-66 loss in McKale Center on Senior Day Saturday morning.

    The Bruins (23-3, 12-2 Pacific 10 Conference) cruised through the final 10 minutes of the game, never letting the lead get below seven.

    When Arizona (17-9, 8-7) made its final run, with a four-point play by forward Chase Budinger and a three-point play by forward Marcus Williams cutting the lead to 66-59 with about five minutes left, a Josh Shipp jumper and back-to-back 3-pointers from Michael Roll answered the bell for the final time for the Bruins.

    “”Every time we’d get the momentum and made a big play they’d always come back and answer,”” said Budinger who scored 13 points on 4-of-13 from the field. “”They run their offense, get the shot clock down and knock down a shot in the last seconds of the shot clock. It was tough, it was frustrating, we’d have good defense, the shot clock was running down, and one of their guys would always step up and hit a big 3.””

    Earlier in the game the Wildcats used a 9-2 run in the final five minutes of the first half to make UCLA’s halftime lead just one point, and a 12-0 run in the middle of the half tied a contest the Bruins were threatening to run away with early.

    With UCLA sweeping the season series against the Wildcats just like No. 22 USC did in its win Thursday, Arizona has now been swept by both Los Angeles schools in the same season for the first time since 1982-83, back when Ben Lindsey was the head coach.

    In trying to prevent that the Wildcats utilized a zone for much of the game, a defense that the Bruins have struggled with much of this year.

    “”The zone was really effective,”” said senior Mustafa Shakur, who co-led the team in points along with Williams, scoring 17. “”When we first went into it we went on our run and came back. Then they came out with a new game plan, which kind of took away from the zone’s effectiveness.””

    But the Bruins often hurt the zone by hitting corner 3-pointers, nailing 13-of-28 (46.4 percent) of their long balls in the game.

    “”We couldn’t stop their outside shooting,”” said senior Ivan Radenovic, who scored a season low four points.

    UCLA point guard Darren Collison also took apart the Wildcats, scoring 17 points and dishing out 15 assists, including 10 in the first half. He also hit 5-of-7 3s.

    “”I don’t think there’s a better point guard in American than Darren Collison,”” UA head coach Lute Olson said.

    Guard Jawann McClellan, who recently accepted a role as the Wildcats’ sixth man after starting much of the year, was Arizona’s ninth man Saturday, with guards Daniel Dillon and Nic Wise getting time off the pine before him.

    In all McClellan, who looked dejected in the locker room after the game, played just three minutes in the contest, getting time at the end of both halves and recording an assist without taking a shot.

    “”Daniel has been just competing a whole lot harder,”” Olson said, adding that McClellan’s knee problems have hurt him physically.

    Dillon finished with two points in 13 minutes, while all of Arizona’s starters played at least 34 minutes except for Radenovic, who played 29 but was limited in the first half with foul trouble.

    Read the Wildcat Monday for more in-depth game coverage.

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