No. 15 Arizona Downs NAU, 101-79
Nov. 15, 2006
TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) - Freshman Chase Budinger scored 32 points in his first Arizona home game and the 15th-ranked Wildcats used a big second-half run to beat Northern Arizona 101-79 Wednesday night.
Budinger, already compared by coach Lute Olson to former Arizona star Sean Elliott, scored 23 in the first half on 9-for-12 shooting, including 4-of-4 from 3-point range.
Budinger fired away while the student section chanted 'Chase, Chase!' and finished 11-of-15 from the field.
The Wildcats (1-1) led from the early minutes but were up only 48-40 at halftime.
Coming off a season-opening 93-90 loss at Virginia on Sunday, Arizona turned the game into a blowout with a 28-5 outburst over a 6 1/2-minute span in the second half.
Mustafa Shakur had 20 points, 10 assists and eight rebounds for Arizona. He scored 12 in the run, including a pair of three-point plays.
Jawann McClellan, who scored 13, capped the surge with a layup that put the Wildcats ahead 82-51 with 10:36 to go.
Stephen Sir led Northern Arizona (1-2) with 17 points, including 5-of-6 on 3s.
The Lumberjacks scored 14 consecutive points against the Wildcats' reserves to cut the lead to 92-77 with four minutes to play. Olson put Shakur and Ivan Radenovic back into the game to stem the rally. Radenovic, who played only six minutes in the first half because of foul trouble, scored 10.
Budinger sank a 3-pointer, Shakur had a three-point play and Marcus Williams stuffed on a lob from Budinger in an 8-0 spurt that put Arizona up 19-7 with 15:02 to play in the half.
The Wildcats' super freshman from Encinitas, Calif., made his first six shots, including a jumper and baseline driving stuff to start a 7-0 surge that gave Arizona its biggest first-half lead at 33-18 with 8:45 left before the halftime.
But the pesky Lumberjacks stayed close, despite foul trouble. Deverik Taylor's 3-pointer cut the lead to 40-34 with 3:55 to go in the half. Budinger followed with a 3 and the Wildcats led 48-40 at the break.
Tyrone Bazy made two free throws with 18:15 to play to slice Arizona's lead to 54-46, then freshman Jordan Hill scored inside to begin the Wildcats' decisive run.
The Wildcats announced before the game that senior center Kirk Walters would be sidelined indefinitely with mononucleosis.