Thursday, January 04, 2007

Arizona too much for Washington

Freshman Chase Budinger scored 23 points and Marcus Williams and Jawaan McClellan each scored 22 to lead No. 7 Arizona to its 12th consecutive victory, 96-87 over No. 24 Washington on Thursday night

Quincy Pondexter, benched for the first time in his collegiate career after 13 starts, matched his career high with 25 points for Washington (10-4, 0-3), which lost its third straight. He had scored 22 points in his three previous games combined.

Washington went the final 4:25 without a field goal. Appleby missed a wide-open 3 with 1:35 left that could have cut the Wildcats' six-point lead in half.
Washington tried two new starters following a 22-point loss at top-ranked UCLA on Sunday -- freshman Phil Nelson and Appleby, a junior, with Pondexter and point guard Justin Dentmon going to the bench.

It worked for the first 32 minutes, anyway.

Washington burned through a 22-4 run over 6½ minutes of the NBA-paced first half to go up 45-31 with Pondexter, who entered the game 3½ minutes in, getting 10 points. Two of the baskets were spectacular: a spin between two defenders before a finger roll layup and a behind-the-back dribble in traffic and windmill lay in.

But much of that surge came with Shakur and Williams on the Arizona bench. When they returned, the Wildcats immediately answered with a 15-0 run to retake the lead on McClellan's second consecutive 3-pointer with 3 minutes left in the half. McClellan, who entered the game averaging 10 points in six starts, had 11 in the first half.

Pondexter scored four of Washington's final six points to put Washington back up 51-48 at the end of the frantic half, in which both teams shot just under 60 percent from the field.
Arizona coach Lute Olson did not substitute for the first 15 minutes of the second half, while his starters pushed back into the lead for good.

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