TUCSON, Ariz. ?C Freshman point guard Jerryd Bayless' 26 points and some support from his Blue teammates downed the Arizona Red, 76-63, in the Wildcats' annual Pepsi Red-Blue Game Tuesday night in McKale Center
The contest was the publicˇ?s first opportunity to see the 2007-08 edition of the menˇ?s basketball team, and a fervent crowd of 8,810 Wildcat fans took in the action
The two teams aggregate score of 139 came in stark contrast to past Red-Blue games, in which, little to no defense is typically played. Last year, the Wildcats combined for 174 points in a run-and-gun shootout.
Sophomore forward Chase Budinger led all scorers with 29 points for the Red, built on solid 9-for-14 shooting. Bayless was 9-for-20 from the floor and 3-of-10 from three-point range, while Budinger?hit four of his shots from beyond the arc.
The Blue team out-shot its Red counterpart 47.3 to 45.8 percent from the field, and the two teams matched one anotherˇ?s 42.9 percent mark from beyond the arc.
While the game exhibited defense from both squads, the two teams totaled just 26 turnovers ?C after tallying 41 in last yearˇ?s Red-Blue contest.
Mohamed Tangara led all players with nine rebounds and chipped in 13 points for the Blue squad, backed by 13 from guard Nic Wise and a dozen by guard Daniel Dillon. The Blue team dominated the glass with a 35-22 edge.
Freshman forward Jamelle Horne was the Red squad's only other player in double figures with 11.
Bayless showed he had some early mastery of floor leadership with five assists, but fellow frosh guard Laval Lucas-Perry had a game-high eight assists with Budinger often at the receiving end.
Budinger accounted for nearly half of the Redˇ?s first-half scoring, as the sophomore from Encinitas, Calif., scored 20 points as his team took a 46-41 deficit into the locker room.
The Wildcats return to action with a home exhibition contest against Concordia University on Sunday, Nov. 4. Tip-off is set for 2:30 p.m. MST. Fans can call (520) 621-CATS or log on to www.arizonaathletics.com for tickets.