Ducks fall flat against Wildcats
TUCSON, Ariz. — Chase Budinger shrugged off his shooting slump and took his game inside. The result was a one-sided win for Arizona.
Budinger scored 20 points, mostly with an assortment of layups and dunks, and the Wildcats won their first Pac-10 game of the season Thursday night by beating cold-shooting Oregon 67-52.
Jamelle Horne added 15 points on 5-for-5 shooting for the Wildcats (10-5, 1-2 Pac-10). No player reached double figures for the Ducks (6-9, 0-3), who shot 37 percent.
Oregon was 4-for-22 on 3-pointers, and two of ones that went in came 11/2; minute with the outcome long since determined.
Budinger, who had shot 24 percent (12-for-50) in his previous four games was 8-for-15 overall, 7-for-10 inside the 3-point line.
"I was able to make cuts and my teammates were able to find me," Budinger said. "I was able to play around the rim more tonight, get easy dunks, easy layups, things like that."
He missed his first four 3-pointers before making the last one.
"I say that I'm a shooter and I'm a pretty good shooter," Budinger said. "It will turn around."
Interim coach Russ Pennell said Budinger simply played basketball, rather than concentration on how his jumper had gone awry.
"I thought he did a really good job of reading the screens we set for him and making some good cuts," Pennell said. "...I kind of expected that from Chase. Eight-for-15, he's even better than that, but that's a big step forward."
Budinger even got two points by throwing an inbound pass from underneath the Arizona basket off the rear end of a defender, then grabbing the ball for a layup.
"Every game I'm just waiting for the guy to turn around," Budinger said, "and I was like 'Yes, easy bucket!'"
Michael Dunigan and Matthew Humphrey scored nine apiece for Oregon.
It matched the lowest scoring Oregon-Arizona game in 22 years.
"I thought we were flat out horrible offensively in terms of the shots we left on the floor because we couldn't shoot the ball," Oregon coach Ernie Kent said. "It took our energy away."
The Ducks' leading scorer for the season, Tajuan Porter, finished with two points. He made just one of seven shots and was 0-for-4 on 3s.
"It was not tough to get shots at all," Porter said. "We could have got any shot we wanted, we just didn't knock down the shots. We just didn't play well. It was as simple as that."
Jordan Hill had nine points and 12 rebounds for Arizona. He had six points and 10 boards in the first half, when the Wildcats built a 30-19 lead.
Arizona took the lead for good early with a 9-0 run that put the Wildcats ahead 17-8 on Horne's 16-footer from the baseline with 111/2; minutes left in the half. Arizona went scoreless for the next four minutes and the Ducks twice cut it to four, the last at 19-15 after Alex Jacobson scored inside with 6:54 left in the half.
Hill scored the last four in a 9-2 spurt that boosted the Wildcats' lead to 26-15 4:20 before the break.
Oregon scored first in the second half to cut the lead to nine, then Budinger scored the next four and the Ducks never got it to single digits again.
Horne's 3-pointer from the corner put Arizona ahead 59-41 with 4:40 to play.
After an awful games at California and Stanford, Horne decided to head to the barber.
"Those two losses, something needed to change," Horne said. He told the barber "Give me something new. I closed my eyes the entire time and woke up with a Mohawk."