EUGENE, Ore. (AP)—Arizona coach Lute Olson was certain his team was going to pull ahead down the stretch. He was more concerned about what would happen next.
Chase Budinger had 30 points and 10 rebounds, Ivan Radenovic hit a go-ahead jumper with 6 seconds left and the 24th-ranked Wildcats rallied from a 10-point halftime deficit to beat No. 13 Oregon 77-74 on Saturday.
“I wanted the ball on the last play and Coach said, `Don’t worry about it, we’re going to make this basket. Then make sure we defend,”’ Radenovic said.
Jawann McClellan’s 3-pointer pulled the Wildcats to 66-64 before Budinger’s jumper tied it. Marcus Williams’ hook shot put Arizona ahead for the first time in the half, 68-66, with 3:17 left.
The Wildcats (17-7, 8-5 Pac-10) stretched the lead to 73-66 on Budinger’s 3-pointer. But Aaron Brooks hit two free throws with 57 seconds remaining to cut it to 73-71, and Tajuan Porter hit a 3-pointer to put Oregon (20-5, 8-5) up 74-73 with 22.2 seconds to go.
Right after the shot, Oregon coach Ernie Kent fell in front of the scorer’s table and came up clutching his left arm. He likely injured his rotator cuff. Before the season, Kent had surgery on the other arm.
Arizona regained the lead on Radenovic’s turnaround jumper, and Budinger hit two free throws for the final margin.
“We knew we had to stick with it,” Budinger said. “We knew things would go our way and we could go on a big run if we made some shots.”
Williams and Radenovic each had 16 points and nine rebounds for Arizona, which has won three straight after losing five of six.
Bryce Taylor had 18 points and Maarty Luenen added 17 for the Ducks, who have lost four of six.
“There were a couple of times when we had a nine- or a 10-point lead, but we just couldn’t put them away,” Luenen said. “If we were able to get a few stops it would have made it a lot more difficult for them to come back.”
Oregon trailed 11-4 but pulled ahead 14-13 on Luenen’s 3-pointer. After Mustafa Shakur answered with a jumper, Porter hit his own 3 to make it 17-15.
Arizona kept it close because of Budinger, who scored the Wildcats’ next eight points for a 23-21 lead.
The lead was short-lived. The Ducks opened a 28-23 advantage on Taylor’s dunk. Luenen and Taylor each hit 3-pointers to put Oregon up 36-26, and the Ducks led 38-28 at halftime.
Brooks, who led the Pac-10 with an average of 18.1 points coming into the game, did not score in the first half for the second straight game. He did contribute six rebounds, though.
Budinger had 13 points in the first half.
After Olson took his red necktie off for the second half, the Wildcats narrowed it to 40-38 on Williams’ 3-pointer.
Oregon stretched it out again, going up 47-38 on Malik Hairston’s dunk, but Arizona again sneaked back up on the Ducks and cut it to 47-44 on Williams’ layup.
Budinger’s rebound basket and a pair of free throws from Williams closed the Wildcats to 52-51 with 12:18 to go.
“This ended up being a great college basketball game,” Kent said. “It was a game of runs back and forth. Unfortunately, they made the last shot they had and we didn’t get an opportunity to make ours. We had plenty of chances to stop it from coming down to the last shot.”
Among those at the game were former Ducks quarterback Joey Harrington and sportscaster Ahmad Rashad, who was known as Bobby Moore when he played running back for Oregon. They sat with Nike founder Phil Knight.
Oregon defeated Arizona 79-77 earlier this season in Tucson.
“This was very important to us after they came into our place and got that win against us,” Budinger said. “We knew we needed to get that back.”