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Cats Blow Past Cardinal, 89-75
By: Arizona Athletics
Release: December 30, 2006
Photo Courtesy: Arizona Athletics
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TUCSON?-Marcus Williams had only six points in the second half but his eighth rebound of the game with 1:39 remaining was as big as any play, helping UA preserve a rugged victory and fuel a final splurge to pull away against Stanford’s tough inside game Saturday afternoon in McKale Center, 89-75.


His play, Ivan Radenovic’s shooting and Mustafa Shakur's floor leadership inside the final four minutes helped UA pull away from a one-point lead, 70-69, at the 4:49 mark.


Williams grabbed the board and then slipped inside SU’s defense at the other end to receive Shakur’s ninth assist of the game for an 80-71 lead with 1:08 remaining.


Radenovic had 22 points, including a pair of free throws and a high arcing jumper inside the final four minutes of play. Williams led all scorers with 23 and Shakur drove for 18.  The Cardinal were led by forward Lawrence Hill with 20 and freshman twin centers Brook Lopez and Ryan Lopez, with 17 and 14, respectively. UA freshman Chase Budinger scored 13.


The Cardinal’s inside strength helped it win the rebounding edge, 36-27, led by nine by Brook Lopez, but UA shot 61 percent from the field and its zone defense helped keep SU to a 45 percent rate.


Arizona improved to 11-1 overall and 2-0 in Pac-10 play while the Cardinal dropped to 8-3 and 1-1.


Stanford came out hot after the half to cut into the Cats’ 50-43 lead with Robin Lopez hitting three shots, but Shakur hit a pair of drives and Radenovic knocked down some free throws to keep UA in front, 56-52, at the 14:41 media timeout.


But Hill hit a three to cut it to a one-point game, and then Brook Lopez gave Stanford the lead with a pair of free throws at the 14:05 mark. Ryan Lopez had a put-back to push SU’s lead to three, 59-56.


UA’s Williams had his fourth personal foul on the next possession and was taken out of the game, then Brook Lopez had a board and a tip-in for a five-point lead. UA’s Shakur made two free throws to cut it to three.


Shakur dropped in a three to tie the game, 61-61, at the 11:53 mark, and then drew a foul on a drive to get himself to the line for a pair of free throws, making both to regain the lead for Arizona at the 11:19 mark. Radenovic hit a drop-step move and Budinger made two free throws to make it a six-point lead with just under 10 minutes left in the game.


But Robin Lopez hit a close-in hook and then drew a foul to earn two free throws. He missed both to keep UA’s lead at four, 67-63. Jordan Hill hit a shot for UA to push it back to six, which held to a 7:25 timeout.


Ryan Lopez hit a jumper to trim the lead to four, and Hill drew a foul to earn the one-and-one, making the first to give UA a 70-65 edge with six minutes left. Finger dropped in a fade-away to cut it back to three with just over five minutes left.


UA turned it over on a shot-clock violation after Williams re-entered the game for the Cats and Brook Lopez put the Cardinal back within one on a wide-open dunk. Radenovic got open for a free layup off a Budinger pass to give UA a 72-69 lead at the final media timeout at 3:58.


Williams’ 17 first-half points and Shakur’s passing helped UA build a modest lead at the break, 50-43, against good shooting by Lawrence Hill and the inside play of Lopez for the Cardinal. Radenovic had 12 points for UA at the break, part of UA’s 66-percent shooting in the period.


Shakur fed most of UA’s early scoring plays at the top of the game. Chase Budinger hit a three-pointer 13 seconds after the start, and Williams followed with a dunk 30 seconds later, both off Shakur passes.


Stanford’s Hill hit a pair of jumpers to tie the game, and then Shakur hit Jawann McClellan for a trey. But Stanford dropped in shots by Anthony Goods and a three by Lawrence Hill to take a 9-8 lead.


Goods nailed another three close to the 16-minute mark for a 12-10 Cardinal lead. And then Shakur assisted Williams for a three-pointer and the Cats led 13-12 at the first media timeout, 15:56.


Shakur got his fifth assist for an Ivan Radenovic three-pointer, but Stanford answered with a Hill jumper to trim the lead to 15-14. Radenovic fed Williams for a back-door cut and he completed a three-point play to put UA back up 18-14 with 14 minutes left in the half.


Radenovic kept at it with two offensive rebounds on two blocked shots by Brook Lopez to put up a close-in hook shot to make it 20-14 Arizona near the 12-minute mark, but Taj Finger had a put-back at the other end to give Stanford its sixth offensive rebound and make it 20-16. Williams hit a jumper for UA to push the lead back to six, 22-16, at the 11:22 media timeout.


Hill hit another trey soon thereafter, but Radenovic answered with one on the next possession off Shakur’s sixth assist. Shakur then answered a Stanford bucket with his own three-pointer and Williams had a put-back layup to give UA a 30-21 lead and Stanford coach Trent Johnson called time out at the 8:51 mark.


After a flurry of misses, Landry Fields nailed a 20-footer to cut the lead and Finger put in a lay up off a Goods pass to make it 32-29.


Budinger hit a back-door play off a Radenovic pass, and after battling for a rebound at Stanford’s end, Radenovic dropped in a back-door layup off another Shakur pass. After the final media timeout of the half at 3:31 he hit the bonus shot for a 41-31 lead.


Shakur, who had his eighth assist for a Williams’ three, drove for a layup to give UA an 13-point lead a minute later.  Lopez’ pair of buckets kept UA from running away and Goods drained another bomb and Finger jammed home a bucket to cut the lead back to five inside the final minute. Radenovic hit a pair of free throws with four seconds left to close the first half scoring.

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