TUCSON--Arizona outplayed Cal in the second half and earned a key Pac-10 victory, 83-73, Thursday night in McKale Center, keeping the Wildcats in the league's upper division at 6-5 and improving the squad to 16-8 overall.
Jerryd Bayless paced UA with 33 points, but unlike recent games was backed up by a double-double from Jordan Hill inside, with 21 points and 11 rebounds, and Chase Budinger?with 18. Cal was led by 21 points from guard Patrick Christopher and 19 from its star forward Ryan Anderson. The Bears dropped to 14-9 and 5-7.
The effort gave?the Wildcats' their 13th straight homecourt victory over the Bears since 1995.
Bayless scored 18 of his points in the first half and hit several clutch 3-pointers in the second half as Arizona ended a two-game losing streak. The freshman guard finished 5-of-9 from behind the 3-point arc.
The Wildcats (16-8, 6-5 Pac-10)?got scoring?help from?Hill and Budinger, unlike its loss Sunday to Arizona State when Bayless was the lone man in double figures with 39. Budinger, notably, had 15 of his points come in the second half when Arizona never trailed after?Cal's opening bucket in that period gave the Bears a brief 32-31 lead.
Patrick Christopher led California (14-9, 5-7) with 21 points. Ryan Anderson added 19 and Jerome Randle 17 for the Bears while DeVon Hardin had 11 points, but only one after halftime.
Bayless hit a 3-pointer to put Arizona up 55-49 lead with 8:42 remaining and then another for a 62-54 lead.
Hill scored six quick points, including a thunderous dunk, for a nine-point lead with 5:48 remaining.
Cal, down 31-30 at halftime and behind by 11 points early in the second half, tied the score at 41 on Christopher's dunk with 14:15 remaining.
But the Wildcats then scored seven unanswered points and took control from there.