TUCSON, Arizona (Ticker) -- Thanks to Mustafa Shakur, it was business as usual for No. 11 Arizona in the Preseason NIT.
Shakur scored a career-high 23 points and had eight rebounds to spark the Wildcats to a 80-69 victory over San Diego in the season opener for both teams.
"We improved our intensity from the beginning," Shakur said. "I was just kicking it around to our main guys. That's what it's all about is finding the open guy. They were finding me when I was open."
Arizona broke open the game with a 20-2 run over a seven-minute stretch in the first half to take a 30-10 lead. But coach Lute Olson was not totally pleased with the first 20 minutes.
"In the first half, we took some ill-advised shots," Olson said. "In the second half, we moved the ball and took good shots."
Salim Stoudamire and Ivan Radenovic scored 20 points each and Radenovic added 10 rebounds for the Wildcats, who are 13-1 all-time in the Preseason NIT and have won the tournament three times,. They will host Wright State in a second-round game Thursday.
"We weren't showing the intensity to get after them," Stoudamire said. "We didn't shoot good tonight, but we picked it up with our passing."
"It's not important that I got 20 points or 10 rebounds, but that we won the game," Radovenic said. "I worked hard this summer. I really want to help this team get to a ring."
Brice Vounang had 28 points and 11 rebounds and Brandon Gay scored 17 points for San Diego, which was winless in 15 road games last season.
"My job is not to score all those points, but to just make the team better," Vounang said. "It's always tough to play a (ranked) team on the road like that."
"You have to use what you have," San Diego coach Brad Holland said. "Brice has such a wide base at 260 pounds. He did a great job against Channing Frye. We didn't have to double him"
The Toreros got within 69-57 when Gay hit a 3-pointer with 3:40 left. Radenovic answered with a three-point play on the next possession.
"We need to have that killer instinct," Olson said. "When you get someone down by 20, you go for 30. But when we needed to get things back under control, we did."