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Budinger, Hill lead Arizona past Oregon

EUGENE — As soon as Chase Budinger began slowing down, Jordan Hill started heating up.

The one-two combination of Arizona junior forwards eventually wore Oregon down as Arizona beat the Ducks 87-77 on Saturday before 8,012 at McArthur Court.

The 6-foot-7 Budinger scored 16 of his 25 points in the first half and the 6-10 Hill scored 15 of his 24 points in the second half. Arizona also received 17 points from junior guard Nic Wise, who scored 12 of his points during the Wildcats' strong second half.

Budinger, Hill and Wise each played all 40 minutes Saturday and in Arizona's win over Oregon State on Thursday.

"I guess they want to call us 'The Big Three' now," said Hill, who became the 43rd Arizona player to score 1,000 points in his career.

"We don't really get tired. We're like machines out there. We're a second half team. The first half we did a pretty good job. The second half we just came out there and shut them down."

The win clinched the first road sweep of the season for the Wildcats, who were 0-6 in road games before beating Oregon State on Thursday. Arizona (16-8, 6-5 Pacific-10 Conference) has a winning conference record for the first time this season.

The Wildcats, who led 37-36 at halftime, took control of the game with a 20-4 run that gave them a 65-47 lead with 10:50 remaining. Wise began the run with a 3-pointer and a running jumper in the lane and Hill capped the run with a one-handed dunk.

"One of our main goals is coming out at halftime and really bringing that intensity the first five minutes," Budinger said. "That's something we've worked on all season and that's what we did tonight and it really hurt them."

Junior guard Tajuan Porter scored 21 points to lead Oregon, including two free throws to give the Ducks their last lead at 29-28 with 3:29 left in the first half.

Oregon (6-17, 0-11) matched its worst start in conference play since 1992-93, when it also went 0-11. The Ducks must win at Washington State on Thursday to avoid their longest losing streak since the 1956-57 season, when they lost 13 in a row.

"It's going to take time," said Ducks coach Ernie Kent, who has eight freshmen on his roster. "It's all about confidence. They will come back, get back to practice, battle and they will get there."

Porter, who was 5 of 11 on 3-pointers, made a 3-pointer with three minutes left to pull Oregon within 77-66. But Budinger answered with a 3-pointer and a layup on consecutive possessions to extend the Wildcats' lead to 82-66 with 1:23 remaining.

Arizona shot 55.6 percent (30 of 54) from the field, including 11 of 20 on 3-pointers. Oregon also received a career-high 18 points from freshman Drew Wiley, who was 5 of 9 on 3-pointers, and 10 points from sophomore LeKendric Longmire.

The Wildcats, who had eight turnovers in the first half, had zero turnovers in the second half.

"That was big," Arizona interim coach Russ Pennell said. "It's always nice to go on the road and win and we were fortunate this weekend to win two. For us right now, it's much needed and we're grateful and thankful we were able to do it."

Before the game, Oregon held an official groundbreaking ceremony at the site of its new $227 million Matthew Knight Arena. The arena is scheduled to open in January 2011, replacing the 82-year-old Mac Court.

The arena is named after the late son of Nike co-founder Phil Knight, whose son died in 2004. Knight sat courtside, near former Oregon quarterback Dennis Dixon and former Oregon wide receiver Ahmad Rashad.