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Cats Can't Catch No. 18 Cougars
Courtesy: Arizona Athletics
Release: 02/02/2007
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Courtesy: Arizona Athletics
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TUCSON?-No. 20 Arizona had only one field goal when it counted, in the last eight and half minutes, and the drought proved disastrous in a 72-66 loss to No. 18-ranked Washington State Thursday night in McKale Center.

 

Ivory Clark led the Cougars with 18, backed up by Derrick Low with 13 points, and 12 each from Kyle Weaver and Daven Harmeling. Arizona was led by Chase Budinger’s 19 points, with Mustafa Shakur adding 13, Marcus Williams 12 and Ivan Radenovic 11.

 

WSU had 13 points off the bench while Arizona had Williams’ 12, but only five from center Jordan Hill, who started in his place.

 

Clark hit seven of nine shots from the field and was 4-for-4 from the line. Low and sub Taylor Rochestie combined to go 5-for-7 from three-point range.

 

Shakur and Lute Olson
Arizona dropped to 14-7 overall and 5-5 in Pac-10 play, while the Cougars completed a sweep of Arizona for the first time in coach Lute Olson’s tenure at Arizona and improved to 18-4 and 7-3. Washington State last beat UA twice in league play in 1982-83, Ben Lindsey's only season as Arizona's head coach.

 

Arizona scored 18 points from the free throw line, but needed field goals down the stretch. The Cougs outshot UA by a 51 percent to 42 percent margin, making six more baskets than the Cats, notably when it mattered.

 

WSU came out in the second half like it had in the first ?- shooting well ?- and hit six of its first seven shots to extend a three-point lead to 48-40 in the first four minutes. UA stayed that close with some decent shooting of its own, but had trouble closing down the Cougars’ outside attack.

 

The Cats got a dunk from Williams to slow the onslaught, and after a minute or so cut another point off the lead when Budinger made one of two free throws. After a defensive stop, Budinger caught a pass on the wing from Shakur on the break and stuck a three-pointer to close within two, 48-46, and force a quick timeout by WSU coach Tony Bennett with 13:03 left.

 

WSU’s shooting stayed hot. The Cougs answered with a three by Rochestie, but UA got a loose-ball bucket from Budinger to stay within three points. But Low answered with a three to keep WSU up by six, 54-48, which held to a timeout at the 10:55 mark.

 

By that point, WSU’s second-half shooting (8-for-13) had pushed its game rate to 55 percent compared to Arizona’s decent 46 percent shooting.

 

Williams made one of two free throws on one visit to the line, and then made one of two on another to make it WSU 54-50. The Cougars got a jump hook from Aaron Baynes to stop a two-minute scoring drought. Shakur’s two bonus shots a moment later kept it a four-point game.

 

WSU’s shooting cooled somewhat, and Arizona stopped a four minute span without a field goal when Shakur got free inside for an old-fashioned three-point play at 8:36 to close to within one, 56-55. That was the Cats’ final field goal until a three with two minutes left.

 

A minute later, at 7:44, Shakur drove and drew a foul to send himself to the line coming out of a media timeout. He put UA up for the first time in the half, 57-56., capping a 7-0 run.

 

But Harmeling knocked down a jumper to put WSU back on top, and after a UA turnover, Ivory was fouled on a put-back try and made both free throws for a 60-57 WSU lead with 6:38 remaining.

 

Robbie Cowgill got open off a screen for a jumper, and just over a minute later, Clark nailed another open jumper to cap an 8-0

Ivan Radenovic
run.  Radenovic stopped the glut with a pair of free throws to cut the lead to five, 64-59, with just under five minutes to play.

 

The Cats got a free throw from Shakur and little else until Shakur hit the three-pointer to cut the lead to three, 66-63, with under two minutes left.

 

WSU got a big offensive rebound by Weaver to give it a second-chance shot, but UA got a steal from Shakur with just over a minute left.

 

The Cats got two two missed three-pointers, from Williams and McClellan, but Budinger rebounded the latter and earned two free throws, making one to cut the lead to two 66-64, with 45 seconds left.

 

Harmeling’s three pushed the Cougs on top by five, but Williams hit a pair of free throws to make it a three-point game with 13 seconds left. The Cats had fouls to give, and couldn’t send WSu to the line, and Harmeling got free for a breakaway layup to put the game out of reach, 71-66, with seven seconds left. He made a bonus shot for the final score.

  

Arizona posted an early seven-point lead in the first half, but Washington State answered with some runs of its own and held steady to its patient plan for a halftime lead.

 

WSU opened the scoring and a 4-2 lead, but Radenovic scored a three-point play to give Arizona its first lead, 5-4, and then after a defensive stop, Shakur found an open Budinger under the basket for a layin.

 

Both teams went cold for a couple of minutes, with the first media timeout at 15:59 showing that score, with Radenovic at the line. He made both free throws for a five-point lead.

 

The Cats got another rebound and McClellan found Budinger, again alone under the basket, for another layup and an 11-4 lead.

 

Harmeling bounced in a jumper to trim it to five points, but McClellan drove and dished to Jordan Hill for a close-in bucket to push it back to seven. UA missed two opportunities to extend the lead, and Low got himself to the line for a pair of free throws to cut the margin to 13-8, starting a Cougar 15-7 run over the next five minutes.

 

Shakur found Williams deep on a break for another layup, but Weaver answered for WSU to make it 15-10 Arizona at the 11:59 mark. UA worked an in-bounds play after a timeout, with Williams lobbing to Hill for a slam and another seven-point lead. Radenovic fouled to send Weaver to the line at the other end and he made both to make it 17-12.

 

Williams again got free underneath and Shakur fed him for another layup, but Rochestie nailed a three at the other end to cut the lead to four, 19-15, with just under 10 minutes left in the half.

 

Chase Budinger.         Photos by Luke Adams
Hill was called for goal tending on a shot by Weaver that trimmed the lead to two. After Hill made a fouls hot, WSU’s Aron Baynes got a put-back to put WSU within one, 20-19, where it stayed until the third media timeout at 7:38.

 

Harmeling’s jumper put WSU back on top, 21-20, but Arizona battled on the offensive boards for three shots and a tip-in from Budinger to regain the lead for Arizona. Low hit an open three and the Cougars had a two-point lead at the 6:15 mark. Budinger answered with a put-back off a Radenovic miss to tie at 24, but Chris Matthews drained a 20-footer to put WSU up 27-24.

 

WSU’s shooting edge, 52 percent to 42 for UA, kept the Cougs steady despite a decent edge on the boards by the Cats, and Low underscored it with a drive for a close-in layup and a five-point lead.

 

McClellan’s three-pointer just around the three-minute mark but the lead to two and stopped a 10-5 WSU run.

 

The rest of the half was offense and not much defense. Low hit a three to make it a five-point lead, but Williams had a dump-off to Radenovic for another close-in UA bucket. Ivory Clark hit a pair of three throws, but Budinger answered with a six-foot jumper at the other end. Clark nailed a three-pointer, WSU’s fifth of the half, to again make it a five-point game.

 

UA coach Lute Olson called timeout with Arizona holding the ball with 21 seconds left, but never drew up the play that showed a miss by Budinger, a tapped rebound by Radenovic and a tip-in by Williams at the buzzer to make it WSU 36, Arizona 33. Budinger had 12 points for UA in the period, while Low paced WSU with 10.

 

Arizona plays Washington Saturday in McKale, while WSU travels to Tempe to meet Arizona State.

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