Marcel Jones had 26 points to lead OSU (8-9, 0-4), with Sasa Cuic adding 16. No other OSU scorer had more than 7.
The Cats created numerous inside offensive opportunities, hitting more than 20 of their 28 made shots inside the paint. The Beavers made it close with scrappy play and decent shooting, hitting 47 percent from the floor. UA hit 49 percent and needed all 12 steals and a slight rebounding edge to put away OSU. Shakur’s point-guard play, with six assists and nine points, also helped UA play steady when needed.
The Cats opened the second half with a 12-6 run in the first five minutes to stretch its lead to 21 points, 54-33, and the game appeared out of doubt. Radenovic hit a jumper, Budinger hit a layup, Jawann McClellan knocked down a shot and Williams hit two shots and two free throws.
The Beavers fought back, and a 7-0 run fueled by Wesley Washington, Jack McGillis and Angelo Tsagarakis made it tighter at 59-47 before Williams hit a driving layup to stop the run.
But OSU kept coming, with Seth Tarver, Washington and Jones hitting shots to cut the lead to 10 points, 61-51 at the nine-minute mark. Jones hit another layup between UA scores and it was an 11-point game at the second media timeout (7:59), 64-53.
Radenovic canned a trey shortly thereafter, and then added a pair of points from the line to push UA up by 16, to again make it appear a rout, but OSU had six points in the next minute to trim the lead to 11 points, 70-59.
Little-used UA substitute forward Fendi Onobun scored all of
Williams had 16 and Budinger 14 points in the first half to stake UA to a solid 15-point lead at the break.
Cuic stopped the run with a trey, and Jones dunked on a fast break, but was called for a technical for hanging on. Radenovic hit both free throws to push UA’s lead back to seven, 12-5, at the first media timeout at 15:50.
Budinger jammed a lob from Shakur, and a bit later fed Williams underneath and he was fouled, making both free throws for a 16-5 lead a minute later.
Arizona got into a little lull and the Beavers cut into the lead with a free throw by Marcel Jones and a Cuic jumper, followed by a Jack McGillis three-pointer and at the second media timeout it was UA 17, OSU 11 with 11:29 left in the half.
UA’s early rebounding helped get two more baskets, with Williams scoring a second-chance bucket and Budinger building a drive-and-bonus three-point play after another break off the boards. OSU answered with a dunk by Jones for a 22-13 margin.
OSU kept it reasonable with a Wesley Washington acrobatic bank shot, on which he was followed and hit the bonus, to make it 24-16
McClellan bounced a lead pass to Shakur on a break a short while later for a crowd-enlivening score and it was UA up by 28-18 at the 7:26 timeout.
After a few traded buckets, OSU coach Jay John called timeout with the ball at the 4:29 mark, still trailing by double digits, 32-22. The Cats’ 10-0 run put more space between the teams over the next several minutes.
The Beavers came out of the huddle and couldn’t cash in, and a minute later Budinger had a steal and fed McClellan for a dunk. Budinger played back-door with Shakur through eye contact and laid another bucket in for a 36-22 lead, and Williams twisted in a looping layup on the break to make it a 16-point lead.
Jones stopped the glut with a leaner and Cuic got free for a layup to trim it back to 12 points, 38-26, but Budinger got an inside pass from Williams to get free for a dunk. Cuic hit a free throw at the other end inside the final minute, and the Beavs had the ball after an offensive rebound, but UA got a steal and UA coach Lute Olson called timeout with 13 seconds left. Shakur was fouled in the paint and made a pair of free throws for the halftime margin, 42-27.