Blitzkrieg: Cats pound Cal at McKale

Arizona bounced back from what many believe is the worst regular season loss in the Lute Olson era with an impressive performance at the expensive of California. The UA crushed Cal 97-76 to keep pace with Washington atop the Pac-10.

Arizona made it apparent it had something to prove, and raced to an 11-0 lead. The UA, sluggish in its noon performance loss to Washington State Saturday, turned in perhaps its best passing exhibition of the season, and as a result shot 67 percent from the floor in the opening half and 63 percent for the game.

The Wildcats opened a lead of 25-5 and kept the pressure on. Perhaps the best example of ball movement occurred when Chris Rodgers dished to Ivan Radenovic from the top of the key. Radenovic then delivered a touch pass to Kirk Walters for an uncontested dunk.

Salim Soudamire and Channing Frye led the way with eight points each in the run. Frye ended the game with 20 points and seven rebounds, and Stoudamire added 17 points on the night.

"We (the seniors) have to set the tone in the game and everyone will follow," said Stoudamire. "It's about time we stepped things up. When Channing and I are playing well, the team comes together."

Scoring is not the primary source of Arizona's great play. The defensive pressure put on Cal really forced them to hit the shots they would not normally take.

"We defended well and shot the ball well, and Cal didn't hit shots like Washington State did, and it allowed us to run our break," Arizona Coach Lute Olson told FoxSportsNet's Todd Walsh at the half. "Defensively we did pretty well."

Cal made a bit of a push as the half concluded. It got some good three-point looks against the UA's 1-3-1 zone and converted three straight possessions on the strength of offensive rebounds. But Arizona was too good offensively, and went into the half up 46-33 behind 10 Channing Frye points.

"Defensively we played zone," said Olson. "The zone worked. I think we did a good job of making them work for shots. The zone was going to do that to them. Make them take the shots from outside. So we forced them to take threes."

Arizona was never threatened in the second half. A Hassan Adams baseline dunk gave the UA a 59-39 lead with 15:19 to go.

Hassan Adams had a strong outing adding 15 points, shooting 7-7 from the field, adding six rebounds and four assists.

Arizona dominated the defensive boards 24-13 in the game, and that was a big difference in the game. However, Cal never got much of an opportunity to get defensive boards as Arizona shot 63.5% from the field.

A few players were banged up in the game including Walters who turned his ankle in warmups, and Ivan Radenovic who hadn't been 100% all week.

"Ivan's had sort of a virus thing, he had a problem with the back [later on]," explained Olson. "He is questionable for practice tomorrow (Thursday)."

Walters is also questionable for Friday's practice.

The Wildcats improved to 18-4 overall, 8-2 in Pac-10 play. They host Stanford Saturday at 11am.

"It was a huge team effort," Olson said. "It's amazing how quick this season has gone. We expect a good crowd Saturday morning. That will be a huge factor against Stanford."

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