Cats click on all cylinders

Arizona used a 20-4 run at the later part of the first half to break open a close game and coast to a 109-75 victory over Oregon State. All but one Wildcat player scored as Arizona dismantled the Beavers who are coached by former Arizona assistant coach Jay John.

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The Wildcats were simply too hot for the Beavers to hang with. A pair of runs, one at the tail end of the first half and another to start the second half, did in a Beavers team that hung with the Wildcats for the first 15:00 of the contest.

"The game was quicker than our guys have had to deal with and their execution was flawless," said John, a native Tucsonan, who coached for Olson before accepting the Oregon State job. "That combination of a great team and flawless execution is tough to deal with.

The Cats were clicking on all cylinders. They shot an unbelievable 63.2% from the field thanks in large part to a concerted effort to make the extra pass.

"If we move the ball we'll get a lot of good shots," said Salim Stoudamire who scored 20 points on 7-9 shooting.

The entire team looked like marksmen from the outside. As a team they made 12-of-26 three-pointers.

The Cats also took care of the ball. They committed just 10 turnovers, while dishing out 29 assists.

"We just fed off that UCLA game," Hassan Adams said about the Wildcats 97-72 rout of UCLA last Saturday. "We saw what we can do if we make that extra pass."

Adams had 20 points as well, adding 10 rebounds and four blocked shots. He hit both of his three-point attempts and was 9-12 from the field overall.

The game saw Andre Iguodala rebound from a three-game funk. The sophomore forward was very aggressive, attacking the basket at every opportunity. He finished the game with 19 points, eight rebounds and a game-high seven assists. Like Adams he was an impressive 9-12 from the field, with all three misses coming from three-point range.

The Beavers did not play bad, they were just no match for the more talented Wildcats. OSU committed only 11 turnovers and shot a reasonable 41% from the field, but the Beavers just could not hang when Arizona got hot.

The Beavers were unable to get their best player into the game. David Lucas had just six points and three rebounds. The Cats limited his touches before foul trouble took him out of the game.

"We wanted to limit the number of opportunities Lucas would get," Olson said. "We did a good job keeping it out of his hands."

The game was billed as a match-up of two fast paced teams and that is what the fans got. Other than the first possession, where Oregon State worked the full 35 seconds off the shot clock, both teams attempted to keep things moving. Arizona was hot, hitting their first five shots and jumping out to an early 11-4 lead, thanks to eight points in the paint and a Salim Stoudamire three-pointer.

Arizona cooled off a bit and the Beavers took advantage by feeding David Lucas. Lucas scored a pair of buckets in a 6-0 spurt and Angelo Tsagarakis hit a three-pointer a minute later to tie things up at 13.

The action was back and forth from there. Kyle Jeffers gave the Beavers their first lead with an inside bucket at the 10:45 mark. The next 5:00 would see five lead changes and a tie as each team scored in small spurts, then surrendered a spurt of their own that would allow the opponent to take the lead.

"I wasn't happy at the beginning," said Stoudamire. "Some of the guys weren't playing good defense."

Jeffers tied the game at 28, when he made one of two free throws, but the next 3:00 saw Arizona dominate the action and build a 48-32 lead. The Wildcats caught fire again and outscored Oregon State 20-4 in the span. Adams scored three buckets during the run and Salim Stoudamire capped things off with a trio of three-pointers.

Arizona left little doubt of the outcome during the first four minutes of the second half. The Cats shut the lid on the coffin with a 16-2 run. When the smoke cleared the Cats had back-to-back buckets by three different Wildcats and a 64-36 lead.

The Cats finally eclipsed the 30-point lead mark with 8:13 to play. The game was decidedly in hand, but the Wildcats didn't stop running. Back-to-back dunks by Iguodala and Kirk Walters, plus a transition pull-up by Rodgers gave Arizona a 88-58 lead.

Arizona passed the century mark with over 4:00 to play. Jason Ranne sank a three from the wing to put the Wildcats up 102-69. Olson cleared the bench at the next television timeout.

The only drama at the end was whether or not the entire team would score. Fil Torres was the last Wildcat without a point and his two attempts were close but did not fall. He had a three-pointer that was in and out, and a late runner was just a tad too hard.


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