Illinois' Warren Carter (41) scores two of his game-high 24 points during the second half. (AP Photo/Paul Connors)
Dec. 2, 2006
PHOENIX (AP) -Chase Budinger scored 22 points and No. 16 Arizona rallied from a 16-point deficit to defeat Illinois 84-72 Saturday.
Marcus Williams added 20 points for the Wildcats (5-1), who have won five straight since a season-opening loss at Virginia. All five starters scored in double figures, combining to score all of the Wildcats' points.
The game was a reversal of the schools' thrilling 2005 Chicago Region final in the NCAA tournament, in which Arizona blew a big lead in "neutral" Rosemont, Ill. This time, the Illini jumped ahead 35-19 midway through the first half, then withered in the face of the Wildcats' explosive offense, which ignited a pro-Arizona crowd in U.S. Airways Center, 90 miles from Arizona's Tucson campus.
Arizona went on a 12-0 run early in the second half to take its first lead since the opening minutes, 52-51. The Wildcats didn't trail again.