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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Wildcats compete weekend sweep

    Arizonas Jordan Hill dunks over Oregons Kamyron Brown, left, and Drew Wiley during the first half of the Wildcats 87-77 win Saturday in Eugene, Ore.
    Arizona’s Jordan Hill dunks over Oregon’s Kamyron Brown, left, and Drew Wiley during the first half of the Wildcats’ 87-77 win Saturday in Eugene, Ore.

    Arizona 87, Oregon 77

    EUGENE, Ore. – Forget about it being a second-half team. The Arizona men’s basketball team is a second-half-of-the-season team.

    Despite Oregon’s relentless refusal to give up down the stretch, the Wildcats (16-5, 6-5 Pacific 10 Conference) beat the Ducks (6-17, 0-11) 87-77 on Saturday before 8,012 in McArthur Court, completing a road sweep of the Oregon schools for the first time since the 2004-05 season.

    The Wildcats have now won five straight games, and the Ducks remain winless in 2009.

    “”It’s always fun to win,”” said UA forward Chase Budinger, who finished with a game-high 25 points to go with 9 rebounds. “”This is a big winning streak for us and it’s something that we needed to do, and we need to continue. We’ve just got to keep this rolling.””

    Arizona led by as much as 19, but it was a true contest early on.

    The Wildcats went into halftime leading 37-36. The score was tied eight times and there were 10 lead changes in the opening 20 minutes.

    The Wildcats turned the ball over eight times in the first half and didn’t have a single miscue in the second, allowing them to leave the Ducks far behind.

    “”That was big,”” UA interim head coach Russ Pennell said of the lack of second-half turnovers. “”That’s been a strong correlation with our team. When we’ve not turned the ball over, we’ve been able to play extremely well.””

    Oregon point guard Tajuan Porter kept the Ducks within two points 3 minutes into the second half, but then the Wildcats exploded.

    Arizona went up 50-43 -ÿits biggest lead at that point -ÿwith a Nic Wise floater at the 15:31 mark. Less than a minute later, a put-back dunk by Jamelle Horne launched the Wildcats to a 54-45 lead, completing a 9-2 run, which was followed by an 11-2 run, making the score 65-47 with 10:50 remaining.

    At the highest point of Arizona’s momentum in the second half, the Wildcats scored on 13 straight possessions.

    “”It’s been our motto all year: Second half is to push the tempo, be more aggressive on D, and on offense, be more efficient,”” Wise said.

    A pair of two monster dunks by Jordan Hill gave the forward four of his 24 points and put Arizona up 75-57 with 6:12 to go. The game was seemingly over, despite Porter’s attempt to bring the Ducks back late in the stretch.

    Porter scored a team-high 21 points and made 5-of-11 shots from beyond the arc.

    “”He’s hard to guard because you want to get out on him to guard his 3s, but then he’s so quick he’ll get around you,”” Pennell said of Porter. “”I thought, for the most part, we did a pretty good job on him. … We made him work, and that’s all you can do with a guy like him, because he’s an incredible shooter.””

    Arizona did well from the 3-point line, too, going 11-for-20 as a whole. Budinger drained 4-of-6 treys, and Wise made three, helping to bring his scoring total to 17.

    “”We shot incredible from the 3-point line,”” Budinger said. “”Any time we do that we’re going to be a tough team to beat.””

    And 1

    Hill scored 15 of his 24 points in the second half, including the 1,000th point of his career.

    Oregon’s 11 straight losses equals its worst stretch since it had the same streak in 1993.

    The Ducks haven’t lost more than 11 consecutive games since dropping 13 straight during the 1956-57 season, when Steve Belko’s first UO team went 4-21, including a 2-14 record in the Pacific Coast Conference.

    Check back with the Arizona Daily Wildcat on Monday for more coverage of the Wildcats’ sweep in Oregon.

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