Cats pull out a tough one

Arizona looked dead in the water on a number of occassions, but battled back and thanks to 30 points from Chase Budinger escaped Oregon with a 77-74 win.

The Cats trailed by double figures on several occasions, but Arizona never let Oregon put the game away.

In fact, it was the Ducks who actually had to make the late comeback. The game was tied at 66-66 with 3:58 and the Wildcats scored the next seven points to go up 73-66. All told it was a 12-0 run for the Wildcats with Budinger and Marcus Williams scoring nine of the points.

The key sequence came when Budinger grabbed a defensive rebound and quickly found Williams sprinting up the court. Williams attacked the hoop, drew the fould and scored the bucket.

He missed the ensuing foul shot, but battled for the rebound and the Wildcats worked the ball around, finding a wide-open Chase Budinger in the corner for a three-pointer.

As quickly as the Cats built up the lead, the Ducks erased it in half the time.

Malik Hairston buried a tough three-pointer. The Wildcats tried to run down the clock, but settled for a bad shot and the Ducks took over. Oregon missed the ensuing three pointer, but got the defensive rebound and Mustafa Shakur fouled Aaron Brooks and the senior hit both free throws.

The Cats then had a great offensive possession, worked the ball into Ivan Radenovic, but the big man was called for a charge while going for a lay-in.

With Arizona reeling from the foul, the Ducks caught the Cats on a defensive switch, leaving Tajuan Porter wide open to nail a three pointer to take the one-point lead.

The Cats went right back to Radenovic and it paid off. Ivan nailed a jump hook over Maarty Leunen to put the Wildcats back on top.

The Ducks never got a final chance to take the lead. Brooks was called for an offensive foul at the top of the key. Oregon had to foul, Budinger made both foul shots and Williams stole the in-bounds pass to prevent any final second comeback.

Budinger was the story. The freshman scored 30 points and grabbed 10 rebounds.

Williams was the stat filler for the Wildcats. The sophomore scored 16, pulled down nine rebounds and dished out five assists.

Aside from Budinger, Radenovic was the key to the Wildcats' comeback. Radeovic scored 10 of his 16 points in the final 9:00 of the game and scored on three straight possessions as the Cats were battling back from a nine-point deficit.

Four Duck starters scored in double figures, but it was the one who didn't who was the story. Brooks was held to just six points on 2-14 shooting but had 10 rebounds and seven assists but could not get off a shot on either of the Ducks' final two possessions.

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