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Cats Fall, 75-65, at Oregon State
Courtesy: Arizona Athletics
Release: 01/13/2006
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Courtesy: Arizona Athletics
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CORVALLIS, Ore. (AP) - Jay John can't say what Oregon State's upset of No. 24 Arizona means in the long run. He does know what made it happen.

``We shot like crazy in the first half,'' the Beavers' fourth-year coach said.

And they kept it up for most of the game, shooting a season-high 61.4 percent in a 75-65 victory over the Wildcats on Thursday night.

Nick DeWitz had a season-high 20 points on 7-of-9 shooting to lead the Beavers, who lost a 22-point lead in the second half lead, but held on in the final minutes.

Chris Stephens and Sasa Cuic each added 13 points for the Beavers (9-6, 2-2 Pac-10), who outscored Arizona 14-4 over the final 4 minutes after the Wildcats had rallied to tie the game.

Hassan Adams had 22 points and five steals and Mustafa Shakur added 17 points for the Wildcats (10-5, 3-2).

Marcel Jones scored twice and Cuic hit a 15-footer with 59 seconds left to give Oregon State a 69-63 lead.

The Beavers scored the game's first 14 points and completely dominated the opening 8 minutes. By the time Arizona called a timeout with 11:49 left in the half, Oregon State was up 20-4, had made nine of 10 shots and had a 6-1 rebounding advantage.

The Beavers hit 12 of their first 14 shots and led by as many as 23 points early on. Oregon State shot 65 percent in the first half and took a 41-24 lead into halftime.

John, an assistant under Lute Olson at Arizona for four seasons, beat his mentor for the second time in seven games.

The Beavers entered the game off a 72-64 win over California that snapped a 14-game road losing streak and gave them a needed boost of confidence.

John said he couldn't attach any particular significance to beating Arizona.

``I don't really know anything yet. ... We're not near what we're going to be later. Our guys are going to get better,'' he said.

The Wildcats handed Oregon State its only home loss last season in a game the Beavers led by 15 points at one time. The Beavers have won 12 of 14 home conference games.

The Wildcats came out in a press after halftime and got back in the game after trailing 46-24.

Arizona went on a 7-0 run to cut the lead to 55-44 on Shakur's three-point play. Less than 2 minutes later, after a turnover by Jason Fontenet, Adams finished a fast break with a rim-shaking dunk that got Arizona within seven.

Shakur completed another three-point play to cut the lead to 61-59, and the junior point guard tied the game with a scoop shot with 4 minutes to go. But Arizona's offensive production broke down as the Beavers clamped down on defense.

But to Olson, the game was lost much earlier.

``If they're going to be a good team, they have to be a good team for 40 minutes,'' he said of the Wildcats. ``They can't be a good team for 20 minutes.''

The Wildcats forced 23 turnovers, but were ineffective on offense for too much of the game. The return of sophomore swingman Jawann McClellan, a good shooter who was academically ineligible for the first part of the season, did little to stop Arizona's perimeter woes. The Pac-10's worst 3-point shooting team went just 3-of-13 from long range. McClellan finished with eight points.

``In this league you can't go on the road and play like that,'' Shakur said. ``They had the momentum and they had the energy.''

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