No. 7 Arizona Overpowers UCLA
Jan 17, 2004
By BETH HARRIS
AP Sports Writer
LOS ANGELES - Arizona coach Lute Olson will remember his 510th victory for the way the seventh-ranked Wildcats played rather than the milestone it represented.
Channing Frye tied his career high with 26 points and grabbed 10 rebounds to help Arizona easily hand UCLA its first Pac-10 loss with a 97-72 victory Saturday.
'I believe we couldn't play any better than we did,' said Olson, who became the school's career coaching leader.
He also has 150 losses in 21 seasons in Tucson. Fred Enke was 509-324 in his 36-year career that ended in 1961.
The Wildcats (11-3, 3-2 Pac-10) ended their two-game losing skid by dominating the Bruins (9-4, 5-1) from the opening tip.
'The milestone is good, but the important thing is we were in serious shape with two losses early in conference play,' Olson said. 'We needed this win.'
The Wildcats shot 70 percent from 3-point range in the first half after hitting a combined 24 percent in consecutive losses to Stanford and Southern California.
'We knew they would come in with a sense of urgency after two straight losses. They took it right to us,' UCLA coach Ben Howland said. 'You hate to play a really good team coming off a loss because that gives them extra motivation.'
The Wildcats raced to a 10-2 lead and eventually built a 16-point lead before the Bruins scored the final five points to trail 48-37 at halftime.
UCLA put up a brief fight to start the second half by outscoring the Wildcats 9-5 to close within seven points.
Arizona then scored 10 in a row, including six by Frye, and never looked back. The Bruins dissolved in a sequence of missed shots and turnovers. They needed a goaltending call just to stop Arizona's run.
'I worked hard establishing myself inside, which opened up shots for guys outside,' Frye said. 'Don't be fooled by the score. They played well, but we just played better.'
The Wildcats kept up their amazing performance from long range, and most of the shots weren't defended. Hassan Adams and Salim Stoudamire made back-to-back 3-pointers for a 69-50 lead. Then Stoudamire scored eight straight - including two 3-pointers - for an 88-62 lead with 5:45 remaining.
'We needed this win.'
Coach Lute Olson
'We had a prima donna attitude just because we had the word `Arizona' on our chest,' Stoudamire said. 'We still feel that we are the best team in the country, but we need to be more patient. We need to make an extra pass and worry about defense, not offense.'
Fans poured out of Pauley Pavilion when UCLA fell behind by 30 points.
Stoudamire finished with 25 points and Adams scored 23 - the first time this season the Wildcats had three players with more than 20 points in a game.
The Wildcats shot 61 percent from long range for the game and made a season-high 14 3-pointers, which broke the Pauley Pavilion record of 13 set by Arizona State and later tied by Oregon. Stoudamire tied his season high with seven, and Adams added four.
Dijon Thompson led UCLA with 19 points, and Trevor Ariza added 18. The Bruins shot just 40 percent for the game and were outrebounded 39-31.
'Arizona is a great team and they play with desperation,' Thompson said. 'We took for granted we were 5-0 and didn't think they would come out and play so hard.'
Although the Bruins were undefeated in the Pac-10, they had yet to beat a big-time opponent or get into the national rankings this season. They went 5-0 against teams with a combined 6-16 conference record.
But they can take consolation in the fact that it wasn't their worst-ever loss at Pauley. That happened last season, when the Wildcats won 87-52.
'UCLA has a confidence and swagger they didn't have last year,' Frye said. 'We had to get it out of them or they would smash us.'