By Roman Veytsman
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Friday, February 11, 2005
Stoudamire's 26 paces Cats to another victory
Behind senior guard Salim Stoudamire's 26 points, Arizona men's basketball head coach Lute Olson became the second coach in Pacific 10 Conference history with 300 conference wins as the No.12 Wildcats beat Southern California 88-76 last night at the Los Angeles Sports Arena.
Arizona (20-4, 10-2) used an 18-8 spurt to start the second half to propel itself to the win over the Trojans (9-14, 2-10).
USC had no answer for the sharp shooting of Stoudamire.
"I thought my teammates did a good job of finding me, and I was working hard to get the ball. I just knocked down shots," Stoudamire said.
The Trojans put up little fight after the opening tip, starting the game 2-of-10 from the floor and letting the Wildcats get out to a 12-4 lead.
It didn't get much better from there as Arizona went on another first-half run, scoring 13 straight points capped by a Jawann McClellan dunk.
McClellan got plenty of minutes Thursday, as did the rest of the Wildcats' bench. No one on the team played over 29 minutes, and McClellan and junior guard Chris Rodgers played 19 and 20 minutes, respectively.
McClellan, who said he feels much more comfortable at this point in the season, used his playing time to contribute on both ends of the floor.
"I'm doing a lot of little things that I didn't do in high school, that's helping me out this year," McClellan said.
McClellan scored eight points and had three steals off the bench, while going 4-of-6 from the floor.
"When I'm in the game, I'm playing a lot better," McClellan said. "I'm learning every day, learning from Hassan (Adams), learning from Salim, and learning from a Hall of Fame coach."
Kirk Walters, another bench player, was especially impressive, scoring six points and pulling down two rebounds.
Walters's aggressiveness showed when he took the ball strong to the basket in the first half and made a tough shot in the faces of Trojan defenders.
"I had the opportunity to make the move, so, as (assistant coach) Josh (Pastner) says, 'Just play with the move and don't think about it," and that's what I tried to do," Walters said.
Walters was not the lone big man to have a good game. Sophomore forward Ivan Radenovic once again played consistently, snagging 12 rebounds, including 10 on the defensive end, and adding nine points.
"I tried to get as much as I can on the rebounding part," Radenovic said. "Channing gave me a few good passes and I had those shots."
Frye followed up his double-double against Stanford with another overall effort, putting up 14 points, seven rebounds, four assists, and four blocks.
The Wildcats 12-point victory was not indicative of the game's flow. The Trojans scored many of their points when the game was already in garbage time.
The one bright spot for the Trojans, as has been the case all season, was the play of their freshmen, Nick Young and Gabriel Pruitt.
Young and Pruitt combined for 39 points and kept USC from completely folding. Young's 3-pointer to beat the buzzer at the end of the first half cut the lead to 39-30.
Pruitt had five assists Sunday, albeit with five turnovers.
Olson is only four wins shy of Wooden's Pac-10 wins record and stands second in conference winning percentage and league championships.
He will have a chance to get closer to the victory record against the team Wooden led, UCLA, on Saturday in Los Angeles.