TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) -- Led by Ivan Radenovic's 14 points, Arizona
used a relentless defense to crush Arizona State 68-47 Saturday in
the McKale Center.
The Wildcats harassed the Sun Devils into a season-high 26
turnovers while allowing only 18 field goals.
Bryson Krueger led the Sun Devils with 14 points.
The Wildcats, making a late push to secure an NCAA tournament
berth, won for the fourth time in five games. Arizona (17-10, 10-6
in the Pac-10) is seeking to extend its 21-year string of NCAA
tournament appearances, the nation's longest active streak.
The Wildcats have won 22 of the last 23 meetings with their
in-state rival, including 10 in a row. ASU coach Rob Evans is 1-16
Arizona needed a strong defensive effort on a day it shot only
40.6 percent from the floor and 18.2 percent from beyond the
The Wildcats took control from the opening tipoff, starting the
game on a 12-2 run. After center Kirk Walters hit two free throws,
forward Marcus Williams made a three-pointer and Ivan Radenovic
scored on a fast break lay-up and a hook shot to put Arizona up
9-2. A jumper by Hassan Adams and a Williams free throw made it
After ASU (10-15, 4-12) cut the deficit to 14-7, the Wildcats
blew the game open with an 18-0 run, shutting out the Sun Devils
for seven minutes.
Arizona State entered the game ranked eighth in the Pac-10 in
scoring offense (65.1 points per game), and the Sun Devils
struggled against Arizona's active, pressing defense. With Wildcat
defenders contesting every pass, ASU made only one of its first
eight shots and didn't score its second field goal until the game
was nearly nine minutes old.
The Sun Devils had seven turnovers in the first eight minutes.
The Sun Devils shot 25 percent (5-for-20) from the floor in the
first half and went to the dressing room trailing 38-13.
Arizona's best defensive sequence came late in the first half.
First, Radenovic stripped Arizona State guard Kevin Kruger of the
ball and threw a 50-foot bounce pass to Adams, who dunked to put
the Wildcats up 21-7. Three possessions later, Adams blocked a
lay-up by Sun Devil guard Antwi Atuahene, setting up a 16-foot
jumper by Fendi Onobun to give Arizona a 27-7 lead.
Radenovic punctuated Arizona's dominant first half by stealing
the ball and dribbling the length of the floor for a dunk as time
Sparked by a pair of Bryson Krueger three-pointers, ASU opened
the second half on a 12-2 run to pull within 40-25 with 16 minutes
to play. But the Wildcats used a pair of turnovers to quell the
Arizona's victory moves the Wildcats closer to an NCAA tourney
bid. The Wildcats have played in the NCAA tournament ever year
since 1984-85, Lute Olson's second season in Tucson.
Arizona finishes the regular season with home games against
Washington State March 2 and Washington March 4.