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Cats Take Care of Business, 86-57
Courtesy: Arizona Athletics
Release: 11/23/2006
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Courtesy: Arizona Athletics
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TUCSON?-Arizona’s five starters built a big lead and kept it that way under a barrage of three-point shots by Samford, cruising to  a convincing 86-57 victory over Samford Wednesday night in McKale Center.

 

The Cats' regulars took the floor until the final nine minutes when coach Lute Olson tried some different lineup combinations.

 

Forwards Marcus Williams and Chase Budinger scored 14 apiece, guard Mustafa Shakur put up 14, guard Jawann McClellan added 12 and forward Ivan Radenovic netted 10.  

 

Samford came out shooting, and largely from behind the arc, setting a McKale Center record of 43 three-point attempts, about three-quarters of all its shots. The Bulldogs tied another McKale record for one half with their 23 treys in the first period.

 

But Samford was able to connect on only 35 percent of the shots and the bigger Wildcats had a resounding 47-21 edge in rebounds. McClellan and Radenovic had rebounding honors with nine, and Williams and Budinger had eight apiece.

Williams, McClellan battle for a board (AP)
 

UA’s bench filled out the scoring with nine points from Nic Wise, six from Fendi Onobun and five from Jordan Hill, who chipped in four rebounds in eight minutes played. Daniel Dillon had a pair.

 

Randall Gulina led the Bulldogs with 21 points, hitting 7 of 13 from the floor and five of 10 three-pointers. Jerry Smith had 13, with three of eight from behind the arc.

 

Arizona’s first half was a series of runs, three modest but the final one defining enough for a 28-point lead.

 

The Cats took the ball to the hole straight off the opening tip, with Marcus Williams missing both free throws but Chase Budinger hitting the boards for a tip-in on the second.  After that, he and Williams scored Arizona’s first 14 points, plus eventually netted 14 and 12, respectively in the half.

 

Budinger drove for a bank shot from the wing, Williams hit a little leaner off a rebound-break and it was Arizona 6-0 after a minute and change.

 

Mustafa Shakur fed Williams for a dunk, and Williams drove for a layup to make it 14-7, then Ivan Radenovic took it inside for a layup to make it 16-7 with about 12 minutes left in the half.

 

Samford coach Jimmy Tillette called timeout after Shakur’s spinning jumper in the lane pushed UA’s lead to 18-7 at the 11:46 mark. UA came out and Jawann McClellan had a put-back off UA’s 13th redound in less than a half.

 

Jerry Smith drained a 20-footer from the top of the arc to stop a second UA 6-0 run and make it 20-10 with 10:30 to go. The Cats put their third little run together to make it 26-10 on two buckets by Williams and two free throws by Shakur.

 

Arizona played a zone defense for much of the first half to frustrate Samford’s passing and patient style, and it worked to disrupt the Bulldogs’ flow.  The Dogs came out shooting from the outside, however, putting up 23 three-pointers in the first 20 minutes.

 

Budinger netted his 10th point on a drive and bank-shot with five minutes left, then Nic Wise made a three from the wing, McClellan hit a jumper, Budinger hit another, Radenovic another and UA had a 44-16 lead with their biggest run of 16-0. Travis Peterson made a layup with a minute left, but Shakur hit a bucket at the buzzer for UA’s final points of the half.

 

For awhile it looked as if Arizona might match a 33-year-old mark of scoring 100 points in three consecutive games ?- a streak dating to the first half-dozen games in McKale Center in early 1973 under the late coach Fred Snowden and his 'Kiddie Korps' high-tempo team led by freshmen Eric Money, Coniel Norman and Al Fleming. 

 

 

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