TUCSON?-A double-double by freshman forward Chase Budinger and strong games by guard Jawann McClellan and freshman forward Jordan Hill led 17th-ranked Arizona to a convincing 71-47 victory over Arizona State in McKale Center on Wednesday.
Budinger scored 21 points and grabbed 10 rebounds, while McClellan snapped out of a shooting funk with 14 points on four-for-seven shooting, while Hill, normally a reserve off the bench, added 12 points and nine rebounds in his first career start. Forward Ivan Radenovic added 11 points.
Hill’s start was a result of UA scoring leader Marcus Williams’ suspension. He was in street clothes on the bench, sitting out a game for a violation of team rules.
ASU had balanced scoring with eight players on the board, led by Christian Polk with 10 and Serge Angounou with 10. One other Sun Devil had eight or more, guard Jerren Shipp.
The Cats outrebounded ASU by a 34-24 margin and shot 50 percent from the floor, their best shooting in the last six games.
Arizona held ASU to a season-low point total and held the Sun Devils to 35 percent from the field, the second-best FG defense for UA this year.
UA improved to 14-5 overall and 5-4 in Pac-10 play. ASU dropped its 10th consecutive game at 6-14 and remained winless in league action at 0-9.
One bad note for Arizona was an injury to reserve center Mohamed Tangara in the first half, when he apparently took an elbow to the head. Tangara left the arena at halftime and UA Coach Lute Olson said later he was hospitalized with an possible facial injury. He was undergoing further tests at nearby University Medical Center.
Hill opened the second half with a jam to extend an
Both teams went into a little lull, going almost three minutes without a score, before Arizona capped a four-shot, three-rebound possession with an Ivan Radenovic three-pointer to make it 50-34 and force another ASU timeout at the 13:36 mark.
Jawann McClellan hit four of seven shots
The teams traded some baskets for the next couple of minutes, with
ASU got a little more aggressive in its zone, and
After the Cats forced a third consecutive turnover at the defensive end, McClellan knocked down a three-pointer to make it a 20-point game, 60-40.
Shakur’s layup on the break put the game out of reach, 62-44, with 3:23 remaining.
Jordan Hill, in his first career start in place of Williams, had some early success to help UA build a quick lead. His put-back made the score 4-0.
The Cats’s defense held ASU to a shot-clock violation on the next possession, and Hill found Ivan Radenovic cutting to the basket. He missed the shot, but got another offensive board and the layin for a 6-0 lead that forced ASU coach Herb Sendek to call an early timeout at the 17:48 mark.
Hill had another put-back, a jam on a missed shot by Radenovic to make it 8-0, giving him four rebounds and four points in the first three minutes.
A free throw by Jerren Shipp and a three-pointer by Christian Polk got the UA crowd to sit down, cutting the lead to 8-4. Radenovic got open for another layup to make it 10-6 at the first media timeout, 13:53. Serge Angounou drained a three to cut it to a one-point lead after the break.
UA’s zone defense let Antwi Atuahene inside for a short jumper to keep ASU within two again, 13-11, at the second media break, 11:47.
ASU, as it has through most of the Pac-10 season, kept things tight with its slow-down patient offense.
The Devils had a chance to tie, but Angounou missed a three, as did Budinger at the other end. UA’s defense forced another shot-clock turnover and this time Budinger got open for an open dunk on a pass from Mustafa Shakur to put UA back up by four. A minute later, he tipped in his own miss for a 17-11 lead with nine minutes left in the half.
But ASU got buckets from Allen Morill and Jeff Pendergraph to trim the lead to two again before the third television break at 7:52, and took its first lead of the game a short while later on a three-pointer by Derek Glasser.
McClellan hit his first three in a couple of weeks a short while later to put UA back on top, 20-18, but Polk answered with a 12-footer on the baseline to tie it. But Budinger went to the line and knocked down both shots a half-minute later. After an ASU miss, McClellan got fouled going to the rim on a break and hit his free throws to make it a four-point game again, 24-20.
Shipp answered with a three, but Hill made a strong move in the low post for a jump hook to keep UA up by three. McClellan, evidently jacked by his earlier shot, knocked down a 25-footer a minute later to put UA up by six, 29-23, at a 2:25 timeout.
Shakur nailed a trey after the breather to give UA its biggest lead, 32-23, but Pendergraph answered with an old-school three-point play to make it a six-point game with a minute and half to go.
Little-used center Mohamed Tangara had a put-back off a missed Budinger shot to put UA up by eight, then Hill blocked a shot and Tangara got the board to give UA the last possession of the half ?- and McClellan hit his third long-distance shot to beat the buzzer and give UA a 37-26 lead at the half. The Cats shot 48 percent in the period, and had a 17-10 rebounding edge.