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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Wildcats fall to Cal in Pac-10 opener

    California 69, Arizona 55

    There was no second-half surge for the Arizona men’s basketball team on Friday night.

    California (12-2, 1-0 Pacific 10 Conference) beat the Wildcats (9-4, 0-1) 69-55 in both teams’ conference opener in Haas Pavilion. After trailing by 6 points at the half, Arizona’s foul trouble, combined with Cal’s hot 3-point shooting, gave the visitors their third loss in three true away games.

    Cal outscored Arizona 33-25 in the second half.

    “”We’re not trying to be a second-half team, but we’re just not starting off the way that we’d like to,”” said UA forward Chase Budinger before the game. “”But in most of our games we haven’t been down too much going into halftime, and that gives us a lot of confidence. And then once we get into halftime, we make our adjustments.””

    But the Wildcats weren’t able to adjust to a 6-point deficit at halftime.

    Guard Jerome Randle kicked off the second half scoring from beyond the arc – 3 of his 13 points in the game – giving Cal a 39-30 lead.

    A 3-pointer at the 16:11 mark catapulted the Golden Bears to a 46-34 lead. Cal went 7-for-15 from 3-point land in the contest.

    The Wildcats tried to come back with the help of Nic Wise, who scored 16 points, and Jamelle Horne, who scored 11. A Horne basket, followed by two consecutive shots made by Wise cut the UA deficit to 51-47 with 9:10 left.

    Arizona got within four points with 7:56 left, but Cal went up by as much as 15 points down the stretch.

    UA forward Jordan Hill was back to action for the Wildcats after sitting out UA’s last game against Weber State in McKale Center because of a lower muscle sprain in his left leg.

    Hill scored a team-high 18 points and pulled down 11 rebounds in 39 minutes. He sat out the final minute of the game with an ice bag wrapped around his left knee.

    The Golden Bears ended the game on a 14-4 run over the final 7:56, and held Arizona scoreless.

    Patrick Christopher led all scorers with 23 points – which tied a career high – on 9-for-18 shooting, to go with four rebounds and four assists. Theo Robinson pitched in 13 points.

    The Wildcats tallied 10 fouls in the first 20 minutes of the game, allowing the Golden Bears to go 5-for-7 from the free-throw line. The Bears, on the other hand, didn’t allow Arizona to get to the line once in the first half.

    Randle hit a jumper in the final seconds of the half, giving his team a 36-30 lead heading into the locker room.

    Randle, who led the Bears in scoring in 11 of their first 13 games, led his team at the half with 11 points on 4-for-8 shooting from the floor.

    Meanwhile, Hill made his comeback looking strong, as he netted 12 points on 6-for-10 shooting in the first half.

    Both teams played closely for most of the first half, with Arizona going up by 4 points three times.

    But a trey by Christopher with 7:19 left put Cal up 24-23, a lead that ballooned to 6 points by the end of the half.

    It was a comfortable enough lead to keep Arizona at bay in the Bay Area for the rest of the game.

    And 1

    The Wildcats had gone 18-2 against the Golden Bears since 2000. This was Cal’s first win over Arizona in Haas Pavilion in the last three seasons.

    Arizona takes on Stanford on Sunday at 8 p.m. The game will be televised on FSN.

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