Redemption: Arizona crushes Cardinal at McKale

The early game time was no factor this week. For the second consecutive outing, Arizona was inspired, and blasted Stanford at McKale Center 90-72, snapping a four-game losing skid to the Cardinal at home.

Arizona turned in a first half more reminiscent of Cal than last week's sluggish early start against Washington State . The UA turned the ball over four times in its first six possessions, but answered with strong defense and righted the ship with efficient play on offense shortly thereafter.

"Like I've said before this team can be the best," said Head coach Lute Olson. "We can step up defnsively, and offensively if you give us a few inches we'll get three points."

Chris Rodgers was a spark off the bench. He hit a pair of three-pointers and concluded the half with eight. Rodgers found Ivan Radenovic for a nice assist during the UA's telling 22-7 first-half run. Radenovic scored eight points and hauled down six rebounds in the game's first 20 minutes.

Rodgers ended the game strong with 13 points, two assists and two steals. His performance did not go unnoticed.


"Chris Rodgers had the best game he's ever had this year," Olson admitted. "He took the shots he should take."

Salim Stoudamire drained a couple threes while Hassan Adams converted a pair of layups after steals in the open court.

Stoudamire continued his amazing senior season contributing 26 points and four assists. His leadership qualities have become more evident, and he is quickly becoming Arizona's go-to guy.

Arizona appeared in control, up 12 with a minute to go in the half, but the Cardinal converted a pair of buckets, including a layup as time expired off a rare Wildcat turnover, to trim the UA advantage to eight at the break.

But that's as close as the Cardinal would get.

"This is one of the best efforts we have had," explained Channing Frye. "Not only because we won, but how we had contributions from everyone. I don't want to fool myself and say that this game makes or breaks our season, but it was a step in the right direction."

Channing Frye was a force for Arizona on the inside. He led all scorers with 10 first-half points and continued his stellar play after the break. During one sequence, Frye ran the floor and was rewarded with a pass under the basket that he converted against a pair of Cardinal players for a dunk and foul. On the other end of the floor, Frye answered that effort with a blocked shot. He added a steal during a 12-4 Wildcat run that pushed the lead to 56-40 with 12 minutes remaining. He finished with a double-double, and was one of five Wildcats to tally double figures. Stoudamire had a monster second half and led all scorers with 25 points.

"Channing had a great game," Olson said. "Look at his percentage plus his rebounds, four blocks and two steals, that line is pretty hard for anybody to beat."

Arizona improved to 19-4 overall, 9-2 in Pac-10 play. The UA closes with five of its seven regular season games away from McKale Center, beginning with a date at USC Thursday night.

"That's by far the best back to back that we've had all year," admitted Olson.


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