Sloppy Win for Arizona
Even an unmotivated Arizona team was good enough to beat Oregon State at McKale Center for the 20th year in a row.
Not by much, though.
Channing Frye scored 24 points, one shy of his career high, and had 12 rebounds Thursday night as the No. 1-ranked Wildcats beat the Beavers, 72-60.
“I just feel mentally that we weren’t with it like you have to be,” Coach Lute Olson said. “Good teams don’t let that happen.”
The Beavers, 13-13 overall and 6-11 in the Pacific 10 Conference, in their first year under former Arizona assistant Jay John, stayed with the Wildcats throughout.
“The whole experience has been surreal, unique, odd and novel,” John said of his first trip to McKale as an opposing coach. “I play to win and I want my program to not be intimidated by anybody.”
The Wildcats’ Salim Stoudamire was 0 for 4 shooting and scoreless in 12 minutes in the first half. He didn’t play in the second. Olson said the coaches didn’t like Stoudamire’s one-on-one play or the way he responded to their criticism.
“If that’s the case,” Olson said, “then this is a good time to get a good night’s rest.”
Stoudamire’s status will depend on how he performs at today’s practice, Olson said.
Frye made 10 of 14 shots but Olson said the sophomore center should have taken more shots. Frye agreed he and the team could have done better.
“I have no explanation,” Frye said. “We practiced good. Things just weren’t going right. I have to give credit to Oregon State.”
Arizona (24-2, 16-1) clinched the Pac-10 title with its sweep at California and Stanford last week, and the Wildcats came out sluggish against the slow-down style of Oregon State.
Arizona St. 91, Oregon 77 -- Curtis Millage tied his season high with 27 points and Tommy Smith tied his career high with 24 at Tempe, Ariz., as Arizona State pulled even with Oregon in the Pac-10 standings with the victory.
Ike Diogu had 17 points and 14 rebounds as the Sun Devils (18-10, 10-7) ended a three-game losing streak.
Luke Ridnour had 26 points, seven rebounds and six assists for the Ducks (20-8, 10-7), and Luke Jackson scored 20 points.
The Ducks and Sun Devils will meet in the first round of the conference tournament next week, but both hoped to solidify their NCAA tournament chances with a late regular-season victory.