Chase Budinger scored 18 of his 20 points in the second half while Arizona overcame a first-half deficit to beat Oregon State 76-63 tonight at McKale Center.
Budinger was 5 of 14 from the line and made 9 of 10 free throws for Arizona while Jordan Hill had 20 points and 14 rebounds, coming back strongly from a foul-plagued game at Memphis last Saturday. It was Hill's fourth double-double of the season.
OSU freshman forward Omari Johnson, playing in just his fifth college game because of an injured cheekbone, had 19 points to lead the Beavers.
The win moved Arizona to 10-3 overall and 1-0 in Pac-10 play, entering a noon game Saturday against Oregon. The Beavers dropped to 6-7 and 0-1.
After Daniel Dillon gave the Wildcats their first lead of the second half, 47-44 on his three-pointer, Arizona had a three-point play and two field goals from Hill over a two-minute span to take a 56-51 lead. The Wildcats kept expanding the lead from there.
Earlier in the second half, two three-pointers from Nic Wise helped UA cut the Beavers’ six-point halftime lead to just one and Budinger went to the line to hit all six free throws he received in the first eight minutes.
After that, Wise made a fast break layup to tie the game at 11:37 and Daniel Dillon hit a three-pointer to give UA a 47-44 lead with 11:12 left.
Arizona suffered first-half doldrums, trailing 32-26 at halftime. It was the sixth time Arizona has trailed at halftime this season; the Wildcats have now come back to win in three of those games.
The Beavers, picked to finish last in the Pac-10 this season, led for nearly all of the first half by outrebounding the Wildcats 18-13, hurting them inside and making four three-pointers. Arizona shot 43.5 percent from the field, but went only 1 for 3 from three-point range.
OSU took an initial 5-0 lead and although UA pulled to a 15-15 tie midway through the half, the Beavers had three-pointers from Sean Tarver and Roeland Schaftenaar to expand their lead.
Hill led the Wildcats in the first half with eight points and six rebounds, while Johnson had 11 for OSU. Johnson was starting in place of C.J. Giles, who was suspended for showing up late twice for practices, according to a report in the Oregonian.