for this game

Hill, Arizona right ship against Washington

Feb 4, 2007 - 7:05 AM TUCSON, Arizona (Ticker) -- Freshman Jordan Hill and Arizona let Washington know just how frustrated they have been lately.

Hill led five players in double figures with a season-high 16 points as the No. 22 Wildcats stopped a two-game losing streak with an 84-54 rout of the Huskies in a Pac-10 Conference mismatch.

Hill also grabbed eight rebounds and blocked five shots for Arizona (15-7, 6-5 Pac-10), which had been embarrassed in their previous two home games, including a 92-64 loss to then-No. 4 North Carolina last Saturday.

That was the largest loss in the 24-year tenure of coach Lute Olson with Arizona, which also dropped a 72-66 decision to No. 17 Washington State on Thursday.

Hill and his teammates made sure they would not absorb a third straight setback, racing out to 45-26 lead at the break behind 59 percent (16-of-27) shooting. That advantage remained through as the Wildcats finished a sizzling 57 percent (31-of-54) from the field.

"It is critical to have a game like this," Olson said. "It is the kind of thing when the talk is about shooting. You have never heard me say that I was concerned about it because if you get them thinking about it, it is the kind of thing that will have an effect if the players are thinking about it too much.

"It makes such a difference if you get open shots and make shots. Today, we made shots."

That confidence was evident when Arizona ripped off a 20-4 run in the opening half, ballooning a one-point edge into a 37-20 lead on two free throws by Hill with 4:04 remaining.

Jawann McClellan scored 10 of his 15 points off the bench during the run, including three straight free throws after he grabbed an offensive rebound and was fouled on a 3-pointer with 7:21 left.

"I talked with him and told him that a spark off of the bench is exactly what we need," said Olson of McClellan. "He is the guy that can obviously give that to us. He wants to help in any way that he can help."

The Wildcats continued the onslaught, putting together another 20-4 run in the opening minutes of the second half to go ahead 65-32 on a fast-break dunk by McClellan with 12:59 remaining. Ivan Radenovic had six points and McClellan added five during the burst.

Meanwhile, Washington (14-8, 4-7) sputtered on offense, failing to score at least 55 points for the second time this season. It shot 38 percent (24-of-63), including 3-of-20 on 3-pointers.

"I think our defense is coming along," Olson said. "If you look at the tape of the other night's game, I could not believe how many shots that they (Washington State) made with us in their face."

Overall, Arizona rolled to a sweep of Washington this season, averaging 90 points in the two wins. Previous to this season, the Huskies had won six of the last eight meetings.

Hill finished 7-of-9 from the field with eight rebounds and five blocks, continuing his evolution into a impact big man. In his last four games, the 6-9 forward is averaging 11.5 points and 8.3 boards since gaining more playing time and moving into the starting lineup.

"(Hill) gives us more of a big man presence inside and an ability to block shots," fellow freshman Chase Budinger said.

Budinger scored 15 points and Radenovic added 14 for Arizona, which overcame 17 turnovers with 21 assists and finished with 26 points from the bench.

Artem Wallace scored 12 points and Jon Brockman 10 for the Huskies, who were outrebounded, 42-25, in falling to 1-6 in league road games this season.

    --- --- -----
    WASHINGTON 26 28 54
    ARIZONA (22) 45 39 84 FINAL

    Feb 3 3:19 PM


    Feb 3 2:19 PM