for this game

Bayliss leads Arizona over Houston

Jan 13, 2008 - 3:11 AM HOUSTON (Ticker) -- Arizona received a major boost from the return of freshman guard Jerryd Bayliss.

After missing four games with a sprained right knee, Bayliss put on an impressive display of free-throw shooting Saturday to lead the 24th-ranked Wildcats to an 85-71 victory over Houston.

Bayliss made 18-of-20 free throws and finished with 33 points as Arizona (11-5) snapped a two-game losing streak.

He sent a school record for free throws made in a game, breaking the previous mark of 17 by Miles Simon against Washington State on January 8, 1998.

Bayliss also matched an Arizona record for free attempts in a single contest, set by Bob Elliott against Arizona State in 1974. He also grabbed five rebounds and handed out nine assists.

Without Bayliss, who is averaging 18.5 points per game, Arizona went 1-3, including a pair of defeats in Pac-10 Conference play.

He quickly made his presence felt Saturday, however, scoring 15 points in the first half, helping the Wildcats built a 38-33 halftime lead.

Houston (11-3) dropped its second straight contest and also had a 12-game home winning streak snapped, dating to last season.

Playing for the first time since an 89-85 loss at Massachusetts on January 2, the Cougars were worn down in the second half by Arizona's athleticism

Bayliss' two free throws capped a 15-4 spurt that gave the Wildcats a 53-39 advantage with 15:38 remaining. His jumper made it 63-44 with 13:02 left.

Houston responded with an 11-0 run, closing within 63-55 on Zamal Nixon's layup with 8:58 to play, but the Cougars got no closer.

Nixon finished with 24 points.

Chase Budinger recorded a double-double for Arizona with 17 points and 12 rebounds.

Jordan Hill also scored 17 points for the Wildcats, who shot 61 percent from the field (28-of-46) while holding Houston to 36 percent (24-of-67).

Robert McKiver, Conference USA's second-leading scorer at just under 21 points per game, contributed 16 for the Cougars but made only 5-of-21 shots from the field.