Arizona rolls in season opener

Any concerns of a slow start were dashed in a hurry in Arizona's home opener against San Diego. The backcourt tandem of Mustafa Shakur and Salim Stoudamire shot from the gate like wildfire in the UA's 80-69 first-round NIT win.

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Arizona's backcourt started off strong. A Mustafa Shakur steal near halfcourt led to the UA's first basket of the season. Salim Stoudamire followed suit with a three-pointer, then dished to Ivan Radenovic as Arizona opened a 7-2 lead.

Arizona continued to flex its muscles as the half progressed. Shakur contributed five straight points as the UA upped its lead to 19-10. Radenovic was effective on the defensive end during the Wildcat run.

Arizona pushed the lead to 17 after Stoudamire drained a 12-foot bank kiss, and Shakur answered with a coast-to-coast rebound to jumpstop layup and traditional three-point-play, capping a 17-2 run to blow the game open. All told, the USD scoring drought lasted seven-and-half minutes.

The Wildcat backcourt accounted for two-thirds of Arizona's 40 first-half points.

Midway through the second half Arizona went into a bit of its trademark funk. As a result, San Diego made a brief push and cut the UA lead to 12, but the home team was ultimately too strong. The 11-point margin of difference at the end was as close as the Torreros would get.

Shakur led the UA with 23 points and seven assists. Radenovic added 20 points and 10 rebounds. Stoudamire chipped in with 20 points as well.

The Wildcats host Wright State, a 72-66 overtime winner over Tulsa, in the second round of the NIT Thursday night.

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