Arizona kept alive its NCAA Tournament hopes Saturday with dead-eye precision.
The Wildcats shot a season-high 70 percent in a 101-87 win over Stanford, punctuated by a 3-pointer by reserve David Bagga that sent McKale Center into a frenzy.
“If we can shoot 70 percent and score 101, I predict a national championship,” UA interim coach Russ Pennell joked. “It’s very unusual to do that. I thought we took great shots. We didn’t hit anything that was lucky. We tried to attack the basket.”
The win assured the Wildcats a fifth seed in next week’s Pacific 10 Conference tournament in Los Angeles.
Arizona (19-12 overall, 9-9 in conference) plays Arizona State (22-8, 11-7) in a noon game Thursday at Staples Arena.
On Saturday, in UA;s regular season finale, the Wildcat stars had superb games.
Junior Chase Budinger tied a season high with 28 points. Nic Wise had 27, going 9 for 9 from the floor. And Jordan Hill had 20 points.
The biggest cheer of the game came when senior reserves Fendi Onobun and Bagga were put in the game with 23.1 seconds left and UA up 95-85.
Bagga completed UA’s scoring with 12 seconds left on a 3-pointer to put the Wildcats over 100.
“I thought I was going to miss, so I yelled ‘short,’ ” Bagga said of his shot. “I’m just glad we won.”
At the final buzzer, the Wildcats mobbed Bagga for a group celebration.
It was that kind of game for UA. Everything seemed to go right.
At the half, UA led 50-39, hitting from all points on the floor and especially from 3-point range.
It was 7 for 11 from beyond the arc in the half and finished 10 for 16.
School Conf. Overall
Washington 14-4 24-7
UCLA 13-5 24-7
California 11-7 22-9
Arizona State 11-7 22-8
Arizona 9-9 19-12
USC 9-9 18-12
Washington State 8-10 16-14
Oregon State 7-11 13-16
Stanford 6-12 17-12
Oregon 2-16 8-22