Wildcats blow out Beavers by 34

By Christopher Wuensch
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Friday, January 23, 2004

Stoudamire, Adams score 20 each

To say Salim Stoudamire was on fire in the first half of last night's one-sided win against Oregon State would be an understatement.

Led by Stoudamire's 20 points, the Wildcats (12-3, 4-2 Pacific 10 Conference) disposed of the Beavers with relative ease in McKale Center, 109-75.

After knotting the game at 28 late in the first half, Oregon State looked to be keeping pace with Arizona's high-powered offense. But the final 6 minutes belonged to the Stoudamire and the Wildcats, who reeled off a 20-6 run to close out the frame.

The Portland, Ore. native completed his perfect first half by draining three 3-pointers for Arizona's final nine points. Stoudamire seemingly couldn't miss, shooting 5-5 from the floor, four of which came from long range. The junior finished the half tied for the team lead with 14 points.

"(Stoudamire) had an outstanding game," head coach Lute Olson said of his junior sharpshooter. "What can you say about him scoring 20 points out of only nine shots attempted?"

The Wildcats, who shot 64.5 percent from the floor in the first half picked up where they left off to start the second frame.

Not to be outdone by his counterpart, Hassan Adams stole the show for the Wildcats in the second half, matching Stoudamire's game-high 20 points. For the second time in as many games, Stoudamire and Adams reached the 20-point mark. With 19 points on the night, Andre Iguodala fell one basket shy of giving the Wildcats three scorers with 20 or more points in consecutive games. Adams, Stoudamire and center Channing Frye combined for 74 points to accomplish the feat the last time the Wildcats took the floor, Saturday against UCLA.

Despite leading the Wildcats in points, Adams' high-flying theatrics came on the defensive side of the ball. In between grabbing 10 boards, the Los Angeles native wowed the crowd of over 14,000 by blocking four of Oregon State's shots. In one trip down the court for the Beavers, Adams swatted back-to-back shots, sending a Jim Hanchett shot sailing immediately after blocking a Kyle Jeffers attempt.

Frye contributed two blocks of his own, adding to Arizona's Pacific 10 Conference leading 86 blocks on the season.

With two consecutive wins over Pac-10 rivals, the Wildcats seem to have regained their stride.

"We picked up our defense tonight," Adams said. "We played our game and had fun out there. Just got back to Arizona basketball."

The Wildcats were successful spreading the scoring throughout the entire team. With the exception of senior Fil Torres, all of Olson's players scored, including practice squad veteran Jason Ranne. The senior drained a 3-pointer to put the Wildcats over the century mark for his only tally of the night.

Kirk Walters brought the crowd to its feet late in the game with a two-handed dunk. For the freshman, it was his first basket since scoring three points in Arizona's 107-91 win over Liberty on Dec. 28.

"It felt good to go up and dunk it," Walters said. "I think the last time I did that was in Sydney."

For Walters and the Wildcats, the good feelings can only be temporary. Arizona looks ahead to a showdown with Oregon on Sunday.

"It's not too early to think about Sunday," freshman guard Mustafa Shakur said after contributing eight points and five assist against the Beavers. "Now it's time to concentrate on Oregon."

For Olson's squad, Oregon will bring a new game plan the likes of which the Wildcats haven't seen this season.

"Oregon will get the ball down court faster than anyone we've faced," Olson said.

Sunday's game against the Ducks in McKale Center is scheduled to tip off at 2 pm.