Not until Wildcat freshman center Channing Frye had secured his career-high 15th rebound could Arizona find time to exhale.The six-foot-ten center from Phoenix had the best game of his young career and was the Wildcats' most valuable player along with junior forward Luke Walton. Frye came through with 18 points, 15 rebounds and two assists. He was a perfect 10-10 at the foul line. Walton added 17 points and eight assists as Arizona overcame a 68-65 deficit with less than five minutes to play to get a big conference win on the road.
With Oregon State leading 73-71 late in the game, Wildcat freshman Salim Stoudamire was fouled by Beaver center Brian Jackson. Stoudamire made both free throws to tie the game with 2:07 to go. Stoudamire didn't shoot well from the field once again, but he made the most of his opportunities at the line by going 8-8.
See, a freshman point guard for OSU, drove the ball down court looking for a chance to take the lead again but made a bad pass out of bounds to give Arizona the ball with 1:43 remaining.
As he did against Florida earlier in the year, Wildcat forward Rick Anderson proved he was money in the clutch when he hit the game-winning eight-foot floater in the lane to give the Wildcats a 75-73 advantage with 1:22 to play.The Wildcats played solid defense over the final 1:22 and point guard Jason Gardner added a pressure free throw to make the final margin three points. Gardner finished with 15 points on 2-8 shooting from behind the arc. However, the star of the game was clearly Frye instead of the All-American candidate Gardner.
Frye had 12 points and seven boards by halftime and actually played better in the second half when he grabbed eight more boards for his game-high total of 15.
All five Arizona starters scored in double figures to help offset the suspensions of freshmen Isaiah Fox and Will Bynum for undisclosed reasons.
While Frye took advantage of the extra playing time, fellow freshman Dennis Latimore did not. Latimore got into foul trouble in the first half without being effective at either end of the court and didn't play at all in the second half.
Arizona jumped out to an early 16-4 lead before the Beavers (5-4; 0-1) went on several small runs to make a game of it.
The status of Bynum and Fox is unclear heading into Saturday's game at Eugene against the Oregon Ducks.