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Cats Take Quick Lead, Don't Look Back, 97-76
By: Arizona Athletics
Release: February 08, 2005
Photo Courtesy: Arizona Athletics
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By MEL REISNER AP Sports Writer

TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) _ Channing Frye had 20 points and seven rebounds and No. 14 Arizona beat California 97-76 on Thursday night.

Salim Stoudamire contributed 17 points, Hassan Adams had 15 and Mustafa Shakur added 10 for the Wildcats (18-4, 8-2), who kept pace with Washington atop the Pac-10 standings. The 13th-ranked Huskies beat Southern California 99-69 on Thursday night.

Arizona won for the 15th time in 17 games, but the previous outing was one of its worst in decades -- a lead-blowing debacle at home against Washington State, which had lost 38 in a row to the Wildcats.

The Wildcats came in with an edge, and it showed as they improved to 9-0 when scoring at least 80 points.

Richard Midgley led the Golden Bears (11-9, 4-6) with 18 points and six rebounds. Rod Benson had 12 points and Martin Smith 11 for Cal, which had a three-game winning streak snapped.

Reserves played the final 5 minutes after Jesus Verdejo, who had just entered the game, made a 3-pointer with 5:22 to go, giving the Wildcats an 86-58 lead, their biggest of the game.

The Bears got as close as they were going to get 23 seconds into the second half, when Benson's layup cut their deficit to 46-35.

But that triggered an 18-4 run in which the Wildcats scored the last 11 points to take a 64-39 lead with 13:48 to go on a 3-pointer by Stoudamire.

Martin Smith made two 3-pointers during a 12-1 surge that got Cal within 65-51 with 10:07 left while Arizona coach Lute Olson mixed younger players and starters.

But Arizona came out of it with Frye, Shakur and Adams back on the floor. Frye and Shakur scored off fast breaks, and Adams, the Pac-10 steals leader, had one of his four and dunked to open a 73-53 lead with 8:31 to go.

Cal struggled early against Arizona's zone defense, missing its first seven shots while the Wildcats raced to an 11-0 lead over the opening 4:06.

Stoudamire, anxious to redeem himself after missing all five 3-point attempts during a 4-of-14 night against Washington State, had 12 points in the first half as the Wildcats took a 46-33 lead.

The victory margin of 21 points was Arizona's largest in a Pac-10 game this season. UA shot a combined .635 from the field, making 40 of 63 shots. Adams hit all seven of his tries, Stoudamire was seven for 10 and Frye hit eight of 14 shots.


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