No. 11 Arizona Dodges Bullet

Dec 21, 2001

CORVALLIS, Ore. (AP) - Freshman center Channing Frye made the most of a rarestart for No. 11 Arizona.

Frye had 18 points and 16 rebounds as Arizona held off Oregon State 76-73 inthe Pacific-10 opener for both teams.

'He knew how much we had to rely on him tonight,' Arizona coach Lute Olsonsaid. 'He's so coachable and he works so hard at the things he needs to dothat he's going to be a great player.'

Frye, entering the game with a 4.9 scoring average, had to rise to theoccasion because the team's usual starting center, Isaiah Fox, did not playbecause he broke an unspecified team rule.

The 6-foot-10 Frye made all 10 of his free throws, and grabbed eightoffensive rebounds.

'That shows that he has guts,' Arizona forward Rick Anderson said.

Frye was unavailable for comment, but others had plenty to say.

'He's going to be a force for them,' Oregon State coach Ritchie McKay said'I think it helped that Isaiah didn't play because he knew he wasn't going tocome out. He played with more loose

Another Arizona starter, Will Bynum, also missed the game for violating ateam rule. Olson said he wasn't sure if Bynum and Fox would play Saturday atOregon.

Luke Walton added 17 points and six assists for the Wildcats (6-2), andJason Gardner hit a key free throw with 14 seconds left that forced the Beaversto go for a 3-pointer.

Joe See missed the potential tying shot with 2 seconds remaining, and Fryegrabbed the rebound.

Philip Ricci, relegated to a reserve role because he broke a team rule, ledOregon State (5-4) with 19 points. But Ricci missed two key free throws in thefinal minute.

The Wildcats jumped to a 16-4 lead, but the Beavers responded with a 10-0run and stayed close for the rest of the game.

Arizona was helped by a huge advantage at the free-throw line, hitting 29 of34 attempts. Oregon State was 15-for-19.

'Sometimes you have to be lucky, and tonight we were lucky,' Olson said.

McKay, who complained about the officials during the game, wouldn't talkabout them afterward.

'I talked to the team about playing through adversity,' McKay said. 'Iguess we need to work on not fouling.'

The Beavers kept it close with strong offensive rebounding and good defenseagainst the Arizona backcourt tandem of Gardner and Salim Stoudamire, who werejust 4-of-20 from the floor.

Gardner entered the game averaging 23.1 points, but was held to 15.Stoudamire, playing in front of his cousin, Portland Trail Blazers guard DamonStoudamire, made all eight of his free throws and finished with 11 points.

Brian Jackson had 16 points for the Beavers, and Adam Masten added 10points, all in the second half.

Associated Press Writer

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