Dec 21, 2001
CORVALLIS, Ore. (AP) - Freshman center Channing Frye made the most of a rare start for No. 11 Arizona.
Frye had 18 points and 16 rebounds as Arizona held off Oregon State 76-73 in the Pacific-10 opener for both teams.
"He knew how much we had to rely on him tonight," Arizona coach Lute Olson said. "He's so coachable and he works so hard at the things he needs to do that he's going to be a great player."
Frye, entering the game with a 4.9 scoring average, had to rise to the occasion because the team's usual starting center, Isaiah Fox, did not play because he broke an unspecified team rule.
The 6-foot-10 Frye made all 10 of his free throws, and grabbed eight offensive 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 to come out. He played with more loose
Another Arizona starter, Will Bynum, also missed the game for violating a team rule. Olson said he wasn't sure if Bynum and Fox would play Saturday at Oregon.
Joe See missed the potential tying shot with 2 seconds remaining, and Frye grabbed the rebound.
Philip Ricci, relegated to a reserve role because he broke a team rule, led Oregon State (5-4) with 19 points. But Ricci missed two key free throws in the final minute.
The Wildcats jumped to a 16-4 lead, but the Beavers responded with a 10-0 run and stayed close for the rest of the game.
Arizona was helped by a huge advantage at the free-throw line, hitting 29 of 34 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 talk about them afterward.
"I talked to the team about playing through adversity," McKay said. "I guess we need to work on not fouling."
The Beavers kept it close with strong offensive rebounding and good defense against the Arizona backcourt tandem of Gardner and Salim Stoudamire, who were just 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 Damon Stoudamire, made all eight of his free throws and finished with 11 points.
Brian Jackson had 16 points for the Beavers, and Adam Masten added 10 points, all in the second half.
By STEVEN DU BOIS
Associated Press Writer