Arizona capped off a sweep of the Oregon schools by winning in Eugene yesterday by a score of 87-77. This was the Cats 5th win in a row with the last four coming in conference. This win gives the Cats 16 wins on the season. Most people, not including me, believe that the Cats need to reach the 20 win mark in order to make the Tournament. I think that 3 more will do the trick, especially if they come against UCLA, at Arizona State or another sweep of the Southern California schools, Washington schools, or Northern California schools.
The Cats opened up in the 2nd half against Oregon by going on a 20-4 run to go up by 18 points with 10:54 remaining in the game. Chase Budinger had 25 points, 9 rebounds, 2 assists, and was 5-8 on the FT line. Jordan Hill had 24 points with 8 rebounds and was 4-8 from the charity stripe. Nic Wise had 17 points on 6-15 shooting.
The Wildcats had trouble with Tajuan Porter, allowing him to score 21 points on 7-14 shooting. The Wildcats were also out-rebounded 35-27 by the Ducks. In the end, the Cats were too strong in the 2nd half and built a huge 18 point lead that was too much for the Ducks to overcome.
The Outcome was: More than expected. Don't ask me why, but I thought we would not win by 10. I thought we would win somewhere in the 3-6 range. The 20-4 run showed us the kind of spark that Arizona is capable of. The Cats have had these kind of runs in the past and sometimes they are enough to win and sometimes their not. Yesterday was plenty.
The Offensive MVP was: Chase Budinger. He had 25 points, 9 rebounds, 2 assists, and was 5-8 on the FT line. Another solid game from Chase. 8-12 from the field aint too bad either. When he is on, he is the man. His ability to make 75% of his shots enabled him to move the ball around to his teammates and allow them to score. His 2 assists don't really account for the ball movement provided by him to allow Nic those looks.
The Defensive MVP was: Jordan Hill. I was worried about the game plan for Oregon and thought they would attack Jordan Hill more and try to foul him out. He was able to stay out of trouble by committing only 3 personal fouls and holding Michael Dunigan to 9 points and 6 rebounds.
Bench: Again, our bench is basically Jamelle Horn. He had another so/so day with 7 points on 3 attempts but was 5-6 from the line. We have a 6 man team. Get over it. Depth? What depth? Onobun? 0 Minutes. What? We were up by 16 points with 9:30 left in the 2nd half. Jacobson? 6 minutes. Judkins? 5 minutes. Lavender? 0 minutes. We have got to get our reserves some minutes. No team can survive in the Pac-10 tournament or the Big Dance with a 6 man team. I don't understand what Pennell is doing. Anyone else? Thoughts?
Stat of the game: Rebounds by Oregon: 35. Rebounds by Wildcats: 27. That's odd that you would win a game by 10 points and lose the rebounding battle. Oregon also had 18 offensive boards. Maybe it's because Jordan Hill was exhausted from playing 40 minutes against Oregon and 40 minutes against Oregon State.
Overall: What can you say? 5 in a row when people were counting us out. We couldn't be any hotter. A sweep at home and a sweep on the road. I don't care who you are, winning on the road in the Pac-10 is tough. Arizona picked up their 1st and 2nd road wins this past week in Oregon. Zane Johnson's offensive productoin has been pretty weak in the past 5 games and I am still looking for someone else to step up.
Kyle Fogg only got 19 minutes (WTF), only shot 2 times, making both. How can the guy average 15 points a game for three games, then basically do nothing in Oregon? Come on Coach. Set up some plays for him. Make him drive to the hoop. Tell him to shoot, especially when we are killing teams late in the game.
I am at a loss as to why our starters are still playing in this game late, with such a big lead. The win was in the bag. We have USC and UCLA this week in Tucson. Injury? Possible. Fatigue? Possible. Not getting your bench the minutes they need in order to be productive in the Pac-10 tournament? Probable.
Someone please explain why we aren't giving any minutes to our bench.
Next game: February 12, 2009. USC at home. No fouling late Jamelle.