No. 15 Wildcats Come Alive To Take Oregon State, 93-87

Jan. 6, 2002

AP Sports Writer

TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) - No. 15 Arizona, down by 19 points early in the secondhalf, rallied behind Jason Gardner and a harassing full-court press to beatOregon State 93-87 Sunday night.

Gardner tied his career high with 34 points, 23 of them in the second half,and led a scrappy defense that quickly got the Wildcats back in it aftertrailing 55-38 at halftime.

The junior point guard, who also had six assists, scored 14 of Arizona'sfinal 16 points. After teammate Rick Anderson missed two free throws with 11seconds to play, Gardner grabbed the offensive rebound before sealing it withtwo final free throws.

Arizona, coming off a 90-80 home loss to Oregon on Friday, hasn't lost twoin a row at McKale Center since 1983-84, coach Lute Olson's first season at theschool.

Channing Frye added 18 points and Salim Stoudamire had 13 for the Wildcats(9-4, 2-2 Pac-10). Will Bynum scored all 10 of his points in the second half,when Arizona outscored the Beavers 55-32.

The Beavers, who haven't won at McKale in 18 years, shot 76 percent in thefirst half (19-for-25), mostly on wide open jumpers, but were 12-for-26 in thesecond half. Still, the Beavers shot 61 percent for the game.

Brian Jackson, who sat out the Beavers' loss at Arizona State on Fridaybecause of a mild concussion, scored 21 points for Oregon State (8-6, 1-3), buthad only one point and took just one shot in the second half before fouling outwith 3:40 to play.

Jimmie Haywood scored 19 points, including a 3-pointer that cut Arizona'slead to 89-86 with 21 seconds to play. But Gardner sealed it with sixconsecutive free throws, four in the last 21 seconds.

Philip Ricci added 15 points for Oregon State, while reserve Floyd North IIIadded 11.

Oregon State made 12 consecutive shots, most of them wide-open jumpers,before J.S. Nash missed an open 3-pointer at the halftime buzzer.

Energized by whatever Olson told them at halftime, the Wildcats clamped on afull-court press that erased almost all of the Beavers' lead in the first 4minutes of the second half.

Ricci scored inside to put Oregon State up 57-38, then Gardner's 3-pointerignited a 24-6 run that cut the lead to 63-62 on Stoudamire's 3-pointer with13:34 to play.

The near-capacity crowd was alive again, and Gardner gave high-five's tofans behind press row.

Arizona was without Luke Walton for the third consecutive game with astrained right Achilles' tendon, so when Bynum drew his fourth foul with 14:58to play, Olson went to walk-on Anas Fellah. Fellah's breakaway layup after aturnover - his first collegiate basket - was part of the rally.

Adam Masten's consecutive 3-pointers boosted the Beavers' lead to 69-62, butthe Wildcats mounted a 9-0 run to go ahead 73-72 on Bynum's driving layup with7:08 remaining, Arizona's first lead since 1-0.

The Wildcats' defense, so tenacious in the second half, was virtuallynonexistent in the first.

Masten's driving layup capped an 18-4 run that gave Oregon State a 45-26lead with 4:40 left in the half. A 5-0 spurt made it 55-34 on Jackson's twofree throws 1:21 to play.

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