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Williams leads Arizona past San Diego State

Dec 10, 2006 - 5:04 AM SAN DIEGO (Ticker) -- Marcus Williams has Arizona playing like one of the nation's elite teams.

Williams had 21 points and 16 rebounds to lead 15th-ranked Arizona to a 69-48 rout of San Diego State in the San Diego Slam.

Although the preseason hype surrounding the Wildcats dimmed a bit following their season-opening loss at Virginia, but they have rattled off seven consecutive victories.

A 6-7 sophomore forward, Williams was 10-of-16 from the field, including 5-of-6 in the opening 20 minutes, when he sparked Arizona (7-1) to a 38-22 halftime lead.

"When you look at Marcus' numbers, the thing that really stands out is the 16 rebounds," Arizona coach Lute Olson said. "We know he can score and it's just been a matter of him getting to that comfort level that he needs to have for the shots.

"I thought he did a good job of getting the ball to people and really played as well as I've seen him."

Olson won his 768th game to move past fellow Hall of Famer Hank Iba into eighth place on the all-time Division I list.

San Diego State (8-2) was looking to get off to the best start in school history but could not match Arizona's firepower.

The Aztecs shot just 33 percent (21-of-64) for the game, and their two biggest culprits were leading scorers Brandon Heath and Mohamed Abukar, who combined to shoot 9-of-32.

"We're all disappointed, but at the same time, we know we shot the ball poorly tonight," Heath said. "Even shooting the ball poorly like that, late in the game, we were within nine and had the ball. It's disappointing. ... I feel our team is a lot better than how we played tonight."

The Aztecs whittled the lead to single digits at 52-43 on Heath's 3-pointer with 6:48 to play. But Williams blocked a shot at one end and converted an offensive rebound at the other. He added two more baskets to help the Wildcats pull away.

"I'd like to think that I played one of my best games all year," Williams said. "I was just trying to make sure that I wasn't forcing too many things. I just let the game come to me, offensively and defensively. I tried to get the easy buckets around the rim, all of those little things, so you don't have to take as many shots.

"I felt like it was a good game, but most importantly, our team came out with a W."

Mustafa Shakur scored 14 points and grabbed eight rebounds and Ivan Radenovic and Jawann McClellan added 10 points apiece for Arizona.

Heath scored 14 points for San Diego State, which shot an awful 5-of-25 from the arc.

    --- --- -----
    ARIZONA (15) 38 31 69
    SAN DIEGO ST 22 26 48 FINAL

    Dec 9 11:24 PM

    NCAA BB ARIZONA (15) 38

    Dec 9 10:24 PM