Dec. 2, 2008
TUCSON - Arizona didn't exactly shoot lights out, but the visiting Loyola Marymount Lions were cold enough to make the Cats' shooting a huge factor in UA's 84-57 victory Tuesday night in McKale Center.
Arizona improved to 5-1 while the Lions stayed winless at 0-7.
Little-used sophomore Zane Johnson hit a career-high 17 points. UA's Jordan Hill posted a double-double with 17 rebounds and 15 points, Nic Wise added 15 points, and Chase Budinger put up 10 points with seven boards to give UA four in double figures.
Johnson was the hottest shooter, making five of nine from beyond the arc and six of 10 overall. He also posted personal highs in minutes played (24), shots taken and assists (three).
The Cats held LMU to 34 percent from the field and had a decent edge in rebounding, 40-33. The Lions missed 39 field goal attempts.
The second half was experimentation time for UA interim coach Russ Pennell, who played his bench more freely than in any game this year. Ten Wildcats scored.
UA started the first half a bit tentatively but Loyola Marymount's shooting degenerated and the Cats used open shots to build a big lead.
LMU led after four minutes, 10-6, on the strength of a pair of three-pointer by Corey Counts and three turnovers by the Cats.
A few minutes later another three, by Jarred DuBois, upped the lead to four, 15-11. Arizona struggled from the floor, missing six of its first 10 shots while the Lions dropped in six of 11 from the floor.
Chase Budinger nailed a three in transition a minute later and UA regained the lead, 16-15, at the second media timeout (11:46) for the first time since the opening bucket of the game.
The Wildcats capped an 8-0 run by working it inside a few times for baskets by Jamelle Horne and Hill, taking a four-point lead before LaRon Armstead broke the spell with a put-back. UA's Zane Johnson drilled his second trey to push it to five, 22-17, inside the 10-minute mark.
Hill jammed home a dunk off a pass by Horne to give UA its biggest lead to that point, 25-17. That stood until the third media timeout at 6:53. By that time Hill had seven points and nine boards.
Hill had his 10th board a moment later, Wise had a three-pointer and Arizona pushed its lead to 15 points, 32-17, by the five-minute mark in the half. Wise made it uglier with another bomb from beyond the arc.
The Lions hit 27 percent from the field in the frame, making nine of 33 shots. UA shot a modest 43 percent but that difference made for five more made shots and a 41-24 lead.