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Hot-shooting Arizona sinks Washington

Jan 5, 2007 - 7:19 AM SEATTLE (Ticker) -- Washington did almost everything right against Arizona - and still couldn't avert its third straight defeat.

Freshman Chase Budinger scored 23 points and Jawann McClellan and Marcus Williams added 22 each as seventh-ranked Arizona rode its magnificent shooting to a 96-87 victory over No. 20 Washington in the Pac-10 Conference.

The Wildcats (12-1, 3-0 Pac-10) hardly missed in extending their winning streak to 12 games, shooting 65 percent (32-of-49) to overcome a 14-point first-half deficit. In the second half alone, Arizona shot a scintillating 76 percent (16-of-21).

"We talked before the game about Arizona's ability to put five guys on the floor that can all pass and shoot and I thought we saw a great example of that tonight," Washington coach Lorenzo Romar said. "Obviously, they are a very good basketball team. We had 22 assists, 11 turnovers and we shoot 53 percent from the field. You feel like you should have a chance to win that game.

"We had a chance, but we just couldn't get stops on the other end of the floor and they just shot the lights out."

During a 9 1/2-minute span in the second half, the Wildcats hit 11-of-12 shots, including five 3-pointers, to turn a four-point deficit into an 87-82 lead on a 3-pointer by McClellan with 5:44 remaining. Arizona finished 11-of-21 from the arc.

"Well if you look at the stats - in the second half we shot 76 percent from the field, 60 percent from three, and 83.3 percent from the free-throw line," Arizona coach Lute Olson said. "We had only missed one free throw until Chase hit that last one. But we still have to figure out a way to stop people."

The Huskies (10-4, 0-3) got within 87-86 on a fallaway jumper by Ryan Appleby with 4:23 to go, but McClellan buried his sixth 3-pointer on the ensuing possession and Washington never recovered.

Arizona hit 10 of its first 14 shots to take a 27-23 lead, but Washington countered with a 13-0 run paced by freshman Quincy Pondexter, who scored 21 of his 25 points in the opening half.

"He played a great game," Olson said of Pondexter. "Afterwards I told Quincy, 'I thought you were trying to beat us by yourself.' He played very well, and that is the reason that we were very interested in him."

The Huskies extended the lead to 45-31 on Jon Brockman's layup with 6:02 to go, but the Wildcats rattled off 15 straight points, including three 3-pointers by McClellan, to regain the lead.

Washington went to the half with a 51-48 lead but couldn't hold off Arizona despite shooting 54 percent (36-of-67) and hitting 7-of-15 3-pointers.

Spencer Hawes, Phil Nelson and Brockman added 16 points apiece for Washington, which suffered its first home loss of the season.