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Wildcats stay tied atop Pac-10 with Huskies

TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) -- Channing Frye and Salim Stoudamire are
Arizona's leaders. When Wildcats coach Lute Olson wanted a quick
start, they were ready.

Frye had 10 of his 20 points in the first half, when Stoudamire
had 12 of his 17, in a 97-76 victory over California on Thursday
night. The Wildcats (No. 13 ESPN/USA Today; No. 14 AP) needed a win badly after being
upset by Washington State at home in their last game.

"We wanted to come out and set the tone and put them in a
hole," Stoudamire said.

Hassan Adams had 15 points on a perfect night -- 7-for-7 from the
field and 1-for-1 from the free throw line to go with six rebounds,
four assists and four steals.

Mustafa Shakur added 10 points and eight assists for the
Wildcats (18-4, 8-2 Pac-10), who kept pace with Washington atop the
conference standings. The 13th-ranked Huskies beat Southern
California 99-69 on Thursday.

"This wasn't the game to play against us," Frye said. "We
cured our non-effort and got our recommitment to the defensive
end."

Arizona won for the 15th time in 17 games, but the previous
outing galled the players and coaches alike -- a lead-blowing
debacle after beating Washington State in 38 consecutive games.

The Wildcats came in with an edge, and it showed as they
improved to 9-0 when scoring at least 80 points.

Richard Midgley led the Golden Bears (11-9, 4-6) with 18 points
and six rebounds. Rod Benson had 12 points and Martin Smith added
11 for Cal, which had a three-game winning streak snapped.

"We didn't come out with a lot of energy," Midgley said.
"They kept hitting their shots, and we couldn't run on them."

Reserves played the final 5 minutes after Jesus Verdejo, who had
just entered the game, made a 3-pointer with 5:22 to go, giving the
Wildcats an 86-58 lead, their biggest of the game.

The Bears got as close as they were going to get 23 seconds into
the second half, when Benson's layup cut their deficit to 46-35.

But that triggered an 18-4 run in which the Wildcats scored the
last 11 points to take a 64-39 lead with 13:48 to go on a 3-pointer
by Stoudamire.

Smith made two 3-pointers during a 12-1 surge that got Cal
within 65-51 with 10:07 left while Olson mixed younger players and
starters.

But Arizona came out of it with Frye, Shakur and Adams back on
the floor. Frye and Shakur scored off fast breaks, and Adams, the
Pac-10 steals leader, had one and dunked to open a 73-53 lead with
8:31 to go.

Cal struggled early against Arizona's zone defense, missing its
first seven shots while the Wildcats raced to an 11-0 lead over the
opening 4:06.

"We were switching from the man and the zone," Olson said.
"They were having more problems with the zone. it was really
slowing them down."

Arizona had a 20-point lead midway through the first half, and
Cal coach Ben Braun said that was critical.

"I think when our team got down, it took some of the air out of
us," Braun said. "I don't remember the last time that happened."

Stoudamire, anxious to redeem himself after missing all five
3-point attempts during a 4-of-14 night against Washington State,
was 2-of-4 from beyond the arc in the first half as the Wildcats
took a 46-33 lead.