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Citizen Staff Writer



Arizona vs. UCLA: Steve Rivera’s breakdown of the game • Wildcat notes • Players to watch


Advantage: EVEN

UCLA’s Darren Collison is still considered the best guard in the conference, but he’s lost some luster from two seasons ago when he was thought of as an NBA sure thing. He’s still tough to guard. UA’s Nic Wise has been huge lately, hitting key shots and helping UA to six consecutive wins. And don’t dismiss Kyle Fogg, who has been a steady sidekick. UCLA’s Jrue Holiday must step up to give Collison help.


Advantage: EVEN

UA’s Chase Budinger has been playing well – like the player many thought he would be. He’s scoring in the 20s, going after rebounds, leading. Jordan Hill should be the best big man on the court. UCLA’s Alfred Aboya is strong but not an offensive threat. Nikola Dragovic can shoot, as can Michael Roll and Josh Shipp. UCLA has more weapons but UA won’t be overmatched.


Advantage: UCLA

Arizona has ramped it up on defense and looks good doing it, extending on the perimeter and making it tough for shooters. But this is UCLA’s bread-and-butter area. Maybe it isn’t as good as it has been in the past, but it’s still solid.


UCLA gave UA its worst loss of the year last month. That won’t happen in McKale Center, but it could be a double-digit defeat. UA is playing its best basketball, however, so it gets some credit.

Prediction: UCLA by 8


All-time meetings: UCLA leads 46-31

Pac-10 meetings: UCLA 34-30

Longest UA win streak: 4 (on three different occasions)

Longest UCLA win streak: 11 (on two different occasions)

Current series streak: UCLA, 8 in a row

Earlier this season: UCLA 83, Arizona 60 (Jan. 15 in Los Angeles)

Last season: UCLA 82, Arizona 60 (Feb. 2 in Los Angeles); UCLA 68, Arizona 66 (March 2 in Tucson)

First meeting: UCLA 43, Arizona 30 (1923 in Los Angeles)


Hill OK to play despite injuries to ankles

Arizona interim coach Russ Pennell said junior forward Jordan Hill came out of the USC game fine, despite suffering injuries to both ankles.

Hill hurt his left ankle moments into the game and hurt it again midway through the first half when he lay on his back on the court for about two minutes. He rolled his ankle after landing on Taj Gibson’s foot.

Then at the end of the game, Hill injured his right ankle, but Pennell said Hill is OK.

Hill didn’t have one of his better games, scoring just 12 points and pulling down five rebounds.

Pennell said he thought the early ankle problems may have been the reason.

“He wasn’t quite as explosive as we’ve seen him,” Pennell said.

New chant for UA fans: Bring back Lavin?

I still remember the days when the UA student section chanted: “Fire Lavin, Fire Lavin.” I’d say to myself: “Why would you want that?” UA did well against ex-UCLA coach Steve Lavin, going 9-6.

Since Ben Howland has taken over, UA is finding it hard to win against the Bruins. UCLA has won eight straight. UA won the first four against Howland.

“UCLA has long been the measuring mark (for UA),” Pennell said “In the last 25 years it’s been a pretty good rivalry.”


SATURDAY: No. 11 UCLA (19-5, 8-3) at Arizona, 11 a.m., CBS

How teams match up

Arizona UCLA

71.7 Points per game 76.2

47.7 Field goal % 50.3

66.3 Points allowed per game 61.1

42.2 Foes’ field goal % 44.0

‘You have the No. 6 team in the country coming off a loss. That ought to get your attention.’



THURSDAY: Arizona 83, USC 76; Arizona State 74, UCLA 67; Washington State 67, Oregon 38; Washington 79, Oregon State 60

SATURDAY: UCLA at Arizona, 11 a.m.; Oregon at Washington, 1 p.m.; Stanford at California, 3 p.m.; Oregon State at Washington State, 5 p.m.

SUNDAY: USC at Arizona State, 8 p.m.



1. James Harden, ASU 21.6

2. Jerome Randle, California 18.5


1. Jordan Hill, UA 11.3

2. Jon Brockman, Washington 10.8


1. Jerome Randle, California 5.0

2. Darren Collison, UCLA 5.0


1. Taj Gibson, USC 2.9

2. Jordan Hill, UA 2.0


Conf. All

School W L W L

Washington 9 3 18 6

UCLA 8 3 19 5

Arizona State 8 4 19 5

California 7 4 18 6

ARIZONA 7 5 17 8

USC 6 5 15 8

Washington State 5 7 13 11

Stanford 4 7 15 7

Oregon State 4 8 10 13

Oregon 0 12 6 18

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