Beavers Fall In First Round Of Pac-10 Tournament

March 8, 2003


AP Sports Writer

SAN JOSE, Calif.- Krista Warren scored 20 points and conferencefreshman of the year Shawntinice Polk added 15 points and 13 rebounds as No. 22Arizona defeated Oregon State 70-56 in the first round of the Pac-10 tournamentSaturday.

Jessica Jones and Michelle Smith had 12 points each for sixth-seeded OregonState.

Polk, a 6-foot-5 center, also had four steals, three assists and a blockedshot for the No. 3 seed Wildcats, who shot 44 percent after making 52 percentof their shots in the first half. Arizona led the Pac-10 in field-goalpercentage this season at 48.1.

The Wildcats (21-7) have won five straight games, and their victory Saturdaysets up a meeting with No. 25 Washington on Sunday in the semifinals. TheWildcats beat the Huskies 79-66 on Feb. 6, but lost 60-59 in Seattle on Jan.11.

Arizona tied for second in the Pac-10 with Washington, but the Huskies edgedthe Wildcats for the tournament's No. 2 seed in a tiebreaker. Since they splitthe season series, the tiebreaker went to conference record and they hadidentical records against all the other teams. The next tiebreaker is overallDivision I winning percentage, which gave the advantage to Washington (21-6,.778) over Arizona (20-7, .741).

Oregon State (14-14) pulled to 49-41 on a layin by Kristina Rukstelyte with10:13 remaining, but Arizona's defense held the Beavers without another fieldgoal for nearly five minutes.

The Wildcats also took care of the ball down the stretch, controlling manyof the loose balls and patiently moving the ball around to get open shots. Theypulled down several offensive rebounds in the final minutes that allowed themto take time off the clock.

Both teams shot over 52 percent in the first half, but Arizona was 7-for-11from free-throw line while Oregon State was just 3-for-5.

The first time these teams played this season, Oregon State trailed by 38points with eight minutes left in the game and lost 72-44. The Beavers took thesecond meeting 71-65 in overtime Jan. 30, and had won four of the last fivemeetings.

The Beavers led 10-5 before Arizona went on a 12-2 run to go ahead 17-12.The Wildcats broke a 21-all tie and scored eight straight points on the way toa 36-26 halftime lead.

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