for this game

Hill, Budinger help Arizona surge past Oregon State

Jan 4, 2008 - 5:16 AM TUCSON, Arizona (Ticker) -- After a slow start, Arizona recovered and continued its home dominance over Oregon State.

Jordan Hill had 20 points and 14 rebounds and Chase Budinger scored 18 of his 20 points in the second half as No. 21 Arizona surged past Oregon State, 76-63, in the Pac-10 Conference opener for both teams Thursday.

Sophomore guard Nic Wise scored a career-high 17 points to go along with six assists and five steals for the Wildcats, who won for the first time without Jerryd Bayless. Arizona's leading scorer missed his second straight contest after spraining his right knee during practice last week.

"The first half, we came out slow like we always do," Hill said. "The Pac-10 is a tough conference. We've got to come out and be ready to play."

Arizona (10-3, 1-0 Pac-10) won its 26th straight game at home over Oregon State, which has not been victorious in Tuscon since 1983.

However, the Wildcats were trailing for nearly all of the first 28 minutes of the game.

With the exception of 15 seconds, Oregon State (6-7, 0-1) never trailed in the first half and held a six-point lead at the break. The Beavers then led by as many as seven early in the second half before the Wildcats finally made their run.

"When we play top-notch teams, (slow starts) are going to hurt us," Budinger said.

Trailing, 44-38, Arizona used a 9-0 run capped by Daniel Dillon's 3-pointer to take a three-point lead with 11:10 to play. After Oregon State went back ahead by one, the Wildcats scored seven unanswered points to open a 54-48 bulge with 7:49 remaining.

Budinger scored four points during an 8-1 spurt that gave the Wildcats a 67-55 lead with 3:15 left, and Arizona held a double-digit lead for the remainder of the contest.

"I thought we started off the game very strong, but as it progressed, they were able to get Budinger a lot of open looks in the lane, and he made some great shots," Oregon coach Jay John said. "We were able to battle back after the first of their runs in the second half, but down the stretch, the game just got away from us."

Budinger was 1-of-6 from the field in the first half and finished 5-of-14 overall. However, the sophomore made 9-of-10 free throws - all in the second half.

"I wanted him to be more aggressive," Arizona coach Kevin O'Neill said. "His problem is that he is such an unselfish guy. We came out after the half and wanted to get into the bonus early and get to the foul line, and we did that."

The Wildcats shot 62 percent (16-of-26) in the second half, outscoring the Beavers, 50-31, over the final 20 minutes.

Arizona had its only lead of the first half at 13-11 before Oregon State used a 9-2 spurt to take a 20-15 advantage with 6:36 left. After the Wildcats closed within one, the Beavers responded and grabbed a 32-26 lead at the break.

Freshman Omari Johnson had a season-high 19 points and nine rebounds to lead Oregon State, which shot just 6-of-23 (26 percent) from the arc and has lost three straight contests overall.

"After knowing we could play with (Arizona), our confidence level is pretty high despite the outcome," Johnson said. "We have to do a better job on the glass and play tough defense, but we are starting to see progress."