Andrew Fitzgerald scores a career-high-tying 22 points to lead OU in Big 12/Pac-10 Hardwood Series game.
Dec. 5, 2010
TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) - Arizona forward Derrick Williams has come to expect more physical play from the opposition as the season progresses.
Williams was hit hard early by Oklahoma on Sunday but scored 16 points to lead the Wildcats to an 83-60 victory.
Nick Thompson was called for an intentional foul with 13:46 left in the first half when he hammered Williams on a breakaway layup. Williams hit the floor hard, but it took just a few seconds for him to get up.
"I thought it was intentional," Williams said. "I guess that's how they play. They played like that the whole game. He pushed me on my back as I was going for a dunk. If I see someone going up for a dunk I'm not going to push on the back."
The play set the tone for a physical game, but Arizona quickly made the contest one-sided as well.
The Wildcats led 10-5 lead at the time of the foul and in short time pushed their advantage to double figures. Arizona led 40-28 at halftime and took its first 20-point lead with just under 10 minutes to play.
"It was a hard foul. How do you foul Derrick Williams?" Oklahoma coach Jeff Capel said. "Do you foul him soft? There was nothing intentional or malicious intended by Nick on that play."
Arizona's Kyryl Natyazhko was given a technical after the play for racing across the court to help protect Williams.
"I'm just glad that Derrick didn't get hurt," Arizona coach Sean Miller said.
Solomon Hill added 10 points as the Wildcats improved to 7-1, their best start since the 2006-07 season when they began 12-1.
Andrew Fitzgerald scored a career-high 22 points to lead the Sooners (3-5), who have lost five straight. Thompson finished with 15 points and Steven Pledger had 10.
Arizona shot 55.8 percent, outrebounded Oklahoma 31-21 and took advantage of 16 turnovers by the Sooners while committing only 10 turnovers.
But Miller said his favorite statistic was his team's 20 assists.
"Any time you have 20 assists and 10 turnovers that's two to one and that's a great sign of a team playing together," Miller said. "We have a lot of players contributing. Our offense was really outstanding. The numbers reflect that."
Seven Arizona players scored at least eight points. Brendon Lavender and Jordin Mayes each finished with nine.
Arizona extended its lead to 23 in the second half with an 11-2 run. Hill hit two 3s and two free throws during the spurt as the Wildcats went up 67-44 with 8:47 to play.
"We try to wear teams down," Hill said. "I don't think other teams in the Pac-10 can go deep in their bench like we can. I think our team is real deep at all positions."
The McKale Center crowd did its part, too, booing Thompson every time he touched the ball after he was called for the intentional foul.
"I felt like it was a game in Cleveland where every time LeBron (James) got the ball the crowd booed," Hill said.
Arizona hit 14-of-24 shots in the first half and led 36-20 with 4 minutes left before halftime. Cade Davis sank back-to-back 3-pointers for Oklahoma to make it 39-28 before Williams hit a free throw to provide the half's final margin.