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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Wildcats win on an ugly night

    UA forward Fendi Onobun grabs a rebound over Oregon States Sasa Cuic and teammate Chase Budinger during Arizonas 83-72 win at McKale Center last night. Onobun finished with seven points, a season high.
    UA forward Fendi Onobun grabs a rebound over Oregon State’s Sasa Cuic and teammate Chase Budinger during Arizona’s 83-72 win at McKale Center last night. Onobun finished with seven points, a season high.

    A struggling Oregon State proved to be the perfect cure for No. 10 Arizona following the Wildcats’ loss to Washington State. Yet the Wildcats didn’t have a complete remedy for their problems.

    Arizona (13-2, 4-1 Pacific 10 Conference) jumped out to a 10-0 lead and never looked back, winning 83-72 last night in McKale Center in a game that was never in question.

    But both seniors Ivan Radenovic and Mustafa Shakur turned the ball over five times apeice, and the Wildcats shot a season-low 16.7 percent (3-of-18) from 3-point range. Shakur graded Arizona’s performance as a C-minus.

    “”(Oregon State) played well and also we were out of sync on the defensive end,”” he said. “”Here and there we had some spurts where it was good and some spurts where it wasn’t what it was supposed to be.””

    Marcus Williams scored a career-high 27 points and Chase Budinger added 16 points and 10 rebounds, while Fendi Onobun, who saw his first action in three games, scored a season-high seven points in six minutes.

    Arizona held Oregon State (8-9, 0-4 Pac-10) to 34.5 percent from the field in the first half but the Beavers shot 58.1 percent in the second half and fought back to creep in to within nine toward the end of the game.

    “”We jumped on them and tried to make sure they didn’t get too much confidence coming into the building but we kind of let that go in the second half,”” said Williams, who also had eight rebounds, four assists and three steals.

    In building their lead, it was all about the way the Wildcats scored.

    Eleven of their 15 field goals in the first half were on layups or dunks and two were on open 3-pointers. Arizona scored another 10 points from the free throw line.

    The Wildcats ran off another 10 straight points midway through the first half to bump the lead to 38-22. The run featured four layups and dunks and a 10-foot jumper by Shakur.

    Arizona attempted 11 three-pointers in the half, making two, and followed with seven attempts and one make in the second half.

    “”If you’re not hitting, you have to be a team that knows that and be aware of that and try to attack the basket and get easy buckets (instead) of jacking up a three,”” Williams said.

    The Wildcats had to work for a few of their buckets too. Guard Jawann McClellan posterized Kyle Jeffers with a dunk over Jeffers’ head, drawing the foul in the process.

    Budinger, who earned his second career double-double, made a left-handed scoop shot in addition to a three-point play, but the freshman scored two points in the second half.

    Budinger and Williams, who played 37 and 38 minutes respectively, found each other several times for open looks around the basket. Williams said the two have become more and more comfortable playing together as the season goes along.

    “”When those guys are on, it definitely takes a load off everybody else,”” Shakur said.

    Marcel Jones led the Beavers with 26 points and eight rebounds, while Sasa Cuic chipped in with 16 points and six rebounds.

    Oregon State cut the lead to 10 points with 9:43 left on a Wesley Washington lay-up off one of Arizona’s 14 turnovers. Onobun joined the fray with 8:22 left to play and at one point scored seven straight Arizona points, capping his personal run with a lay-up that enlarged the lead to 76-61.

    “”I felt good that coach trusted me in that type of situation…I just tried to play in the flow of the game,”” said Onobun.

    “”He stepped up a lot today,”” said McClellan, who scored eight points. “”I always tell Fendi to be ready and not worry about it because when coach calls you, he’s going to give you one chance and if you step up, you earn minutes and if you don’t then you’re right back to where you’ve been but he’s also been doing a great job in practice too.””

    With Nic Wise (“”personal reasons””), Bret Brielmaier (injury) and Kirk Walters (illness) not available off the bench, Onobun’s quality minutes yesterday could help his playing time in the future. It also gives the Wildcats an unexpected bench presence.

    “”I thought he brought a lot of energy in,”” UA head coach Lute Olson said. “”He came in and I’m sure it’s going to give him a lot of confidence. …His minutes will increase and we’re going to have to cut back on the minutes for some of these starters because I’m not sure we can keep up the kind of enthusiasm for that long.””

    The Beavers would cut the lead again to 76-67, but they would get no closer. Arizona led by 22 points early in the second half and Olson was not happy with the defensive effort to let Oregon State back in the game.

    “”We need to shore our defense up,”” he said.

    And 1

    Big 12/Pac 10 Challenge

    The Pac-10 and the Big 12 have taken a page from the Big 10 and ACC. The two conferences will have a Big 12/Pac 10 challenge for the next four years, the Pac-10 Conference announced today.

    “”It’s about time,”” McClellan said. “”It should be great competition all around.””

    Arizona will be one of two teams to play two games. The Wildcats will face Texas A&M at home and play at Kansas next year.

    “”It’s something that (the Pac-10 coaches) have been trying to get through for some time,”” Olson said.

    Brielmaier update

    Junior forward Bret Brielmaier said yesterday he hopes to be back in as little as two weeks. Brielmaier, who had surgery on Monday, said he has a complex cartilage tear in his right knee.

    He was examined on Friday and more thoroughly on Sunday. Brielmaier wanted to “”fix the problem as soon as possible.””

    “”It feels good actually, minimum swelling, which is always good,”” he said.

    “”I’m planning two weeks hopefully, three more than likely,”” he added of his recovery period. “”I’ll definitely be back before the season.””

    OSU player spits on Arizona student

    Witnesses said OSU center Kyle Jeffers spit on a student who was taunting him after the game.

    Jeffers was seen interacting with police in a McKale hallway after the game.

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