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Oregon State took Arizona out of their comfort zone by playing an Arizona-type, up-tempo game. They out shot and out ran the Wildcats who are used to doing that to their opponents.
Arizona was without Salim Stoudamire who was suspended for failing to meet team obligations. The Cats could have used their best three-point shooter. In the final seconds the Cats needed a three to tie, but settled for a Channing Frye 15-foot jumpshot, which he missed. Washington got the rebound and despite Andre Iguodala grabbing the Husky player, no foul was called and Washington got the final basket in transition to seal the win.
"It's real tough," said Hassan Adams. "We let it slip out of our hands."
The ill-advised shot was one of the few mistakes by Frye all game. On the previous possession he took and missed a 19-footer, but Olson was not displeased at that shot as he was with the one he'd take moments later.
"Channing is one of our best shooters," Olson said. "I don't want Channing to turn down that kind of opening."
All told, Frye had one of his best games all season. He scored 25 points and pulled down nine rebounds. He hit his first seven shots and was able to score at will when his teammates got him the ball. Late in the game the Huskies went to a zone and did a good job denying Frye touches.
The big story was Stoudamire. With his absence the Cats were forced to shift their line-up. Little used Jason Ranne and Kirk Walters had to log extra minutes. Things got worse when Mustafa Shakur found himself saddled with foul trouble for much of the game. Shakur played just 21 minutes, while Ranne played a career high 14 minutes. Ranne did a very good job on defense and was reasonably effective on offense. He his 1-of-2 three-point attempts and had two assist without a turnover.
Defense continued to be a problem for the Wildcats. They allowed the Huskies to shoot 60% in the second half. Tre Simmons had a career game with 22 points coming off the bench. He made 4-6 three pointers and was the spark the Huskies needed. Although Simmons put up unusually high numbers, he didn't do anything the Cats didn't expect.
"Coach Tention had the scout and said when Simmons comes in he looks for the three," Lute Olson said. "We can't give him looks and he did a good job finding the spots."
Nate Robinson, who torched Arizona in Seattle, added 18 points, while former Arizona recruit Brandon Roy scored 12, while dishing out a game-high eight assists.
Hassan Adams played a very good game. The sophomore forward had been the brunt of Olson's criticisms, but his coach had nothing but high praise for him.
"I thought Hassan played hard the whole time," Olson said.
Adams scored 18 points and ripped down eight boards. He played 37 minutes.
Despite an 8-0 run to start the game, Arizona had trouble shaking the Huskies. After the initial scoring burst, Washington outscored Arizona 2-1, scoring 16 of the next 24 points. A Mike Jensen bucket knotted the game at 16.
Adams and Frye teamed to score the next nine points. Adams scored inside and with a three, while Frye sank two mid-range jumpers.
A 9-0 run was not enough to slow Washington down. The Huskies' outside shooting kept them in the game. When Robinson his second three of the half, the Wildcats only led 30-27.
A second 9-0 run gave Washington their first lead of the game. Tre Simmons opened the run with a lay-in and ended it with a three pointer that gave the Huskies a 41-38 lead.
Washington had a chance to go into the half with all of the momentum, but that quickly changed with an Iguodala steal. Iguodala got the turnover and got the ball ahead to Chris Rodgers on the break. Rodgers found Adams trailing and the sophomore sank a three pointer at the buzzer.
The Huskies stormed out of the locker room, going on a 13-3 run. Robinson, Roy and Hakim Rollins each scored four points as the Huskies built up a 55-45 lead.
The three-point shot got the Wildcat right back in it. Against a pesky Washington zone, the Cats sank three consecutive three-pointers, including a pair of threes by Chris Rodgers.
Arizona needed a late run to get back into the game. Shakur came off the bench and sparked the Cats as he scored six of the next 10 points during the Wildcats' 10-2 run. His third bucket of the run put the Cats within one, 78-77.