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The Ducks made a nice second-half push, but it wasn't enough to come back on an Arizona team that was clicking for most of the game.
The Cats did the little things to win. They outrebounding the bigger Ducks 42-30 and dominated the offensive glass 19-7.
"We just played our game and were aggressive on the boards," Channing Frye said, who had 18 points and 11 rebounds.
The Wildcats also won the turnover battle 19-8, committing just one turnover in the pivotal first half.
"I think our quickness really bothered them," Lute Olson said. "We're just not making a whole lot of mistakes with the pass. We're making sure it's open before we make the pass."
Ivan Radenovic had a big game. He scored 11 of his career-high 19 points during the 18-0 run and showed a better familiarity with the Wildcat offense. He was also a presence on the boards, grabbing eight rebounds. Radenovic was solid inside and out, making 3-of-4 three-pointers, while still slashing to the hoop and ripping down five offensive boards.
"I feel more comfortable," Radenovic said. "I think this game I improved. I'm going to be better. I worked real hard in practice. I'm very comfortable, especially today."
His teammates were very happy for him. Those on the bench were jumping up and down after every bucket and the guys on the court seemed just as pleased.
"I think he played awesome," Frye said. "It's what we've been expecting."
Hassan Adams led the Cats in scoring. He had 20 points, but also dished out four assists and grabbed four rebounds. He was a force on the inside, using his quickness to lose the bigger Duck defenders.
What was important about this game is that the Wildcats did not need Salim Stoudamire to spark the run. Stoudamire did not score a single point during the run and spent most of the first half on the bench with foul trouble. To make thing even more difficult, the Ducks put 6-7 Luke Jackson on the 6-1 guard, making it even more difficult for the shorter Stoudamire to get his deadly three-point shot off.
Jackson finished with 20 points, but most of his points came after the game was decided. He scored 13 in the second half, most of those late in the game. The Wildcat defenders, primarily Iguodala and Adams, did a great job of making him work for his shots, and not allowing him to shoot from the outside. He was just 1-4 from behind the arc.
The Cats also did a great job limiting the Oregon guards. The Ducks lead the nation in three-point percentage, making 43.1% of their outside shots, but the Cats held them to just 26.3%. They made just five threes. In fact, they average 9.4 made threes a game.
"Defensively we created a lot of problems for Oregon and it was very hard for them to get many good looks," Olson said.
The pace was just what you'd expect from these two clubs. Both teams got up and down the floor, rarely letting the shot clock get under 15. The Wildcats did the bulk of their damage from the inside. Using their athleticism to attack the hoop. The Ducks on the other hand, were content to score from the outside. They used numerous screens and picks to get their players good looks from behind the arc. Three of their first five field goal attempts were from long range.
It was a 14-13 Wildcat lead before Radenovic and the Cats got hot and went on a 22-2 run, including 18 in a row. During a key stretch of the run, the freshman big man scored 11 of 13 Wildcat points, including a pair of three-pointers and a three-point play.
Ernie Kent tried everything to thwart the run. He burned a pair of timeouts and used two television timeouts to try and right the ship. He used a small, fast lineup and then tried to go big and physical. Neither worked as the Ducks muster just one field goal in more than 8 1/2 ,minutes and were held scoreless for 5:48.
"I don't think we could have played much better than we did in the first half," Olson said. "The first half was just spectacular."
Kent finally found something that worked. Freshman big man Mitch Platt ended the Wildcat run with an inside bucket and proceeded to score the Ducks next eight points as he cut into the Wildcat lead, 41-23.
The Ducks managed to trim the Wildcat lead midway through the second half. The Cats seemed to play a bit tentative and Oregon took advantage. Andre Joseph, James Davis and Jackson sparked a 13-3 run that trimmed the lead to 14, 67-53. The three seniors each scored a pair of buckets, including a Davis three to get the Ducks within reasonable striking distance.
The Wildcats did not let the Ducks get any closer. Great passing and exceptional movement without the ball allowed the Cats go on a 10-4 run that again put them up 20. Four of the five Wildcat buckets came on drives by perimeter players making great cuts. Iguodala and Adams each had a pair of baskets, while Adams also assisted on a Stoudamire lay-in when a lob pass attempt to him was too high. He grabbed the pass as he was falling out of bounds and fired to the cutting Stoudamire.