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Arizona beats Oregon State, 78-69; Washington edges Washington State, 89-87

The top-seeded Wildcats pull away from the Beavers and will face USC on Friday. The Huskies top the Cougars despite 43 points from Klay Thompson.

March 10, 2011|By Ben Bolch

The postgame media session might have proved more irksome than any challenge Arizona faced on the court Thursday.

After the top-seeded Wildcats pulled away for a 78-69 victory over ninth-seeded Oregon State in a Pacific Life Pac-10 tournament quarterfinal at Staples Center, they were confronted by a series of rapid-fire questions about USC, their next opponent.

How would Arizona forward Derrick Williams bounce back from a season-low eight-point performance in the teams' last meeting? What adjustments would Wildcats Coach Sean Miller make in the wake of that 65-57 defeat? Did Trojans Coach Kevin O'Neill's comments about officials protecting Williams play in their heads?

Miller commandeered the last question, saying the game was about nothing more than two outstanding teams trying to reach the championship. Arizona (26-6) and USC (19-13) will play at 6 p.m. Friday in a semifinal.

Oregon State (11-20) proved to be a worthy opponent for a half Thursday, trailing Arizona, 40-37, at halftime.

Then the Wildcats made a trio of three-point baskets in the first 2½ minutes of the second half to take a 10-point lead.

Williams made eight of 12 shots, including five of six three-pointers. "Every one of them seemed to be timely," Miller said.

Oregon State guard Jared Cunningham scored 19 of his 23 points in the first half.

Washington 89, Washington State 87: Washington guard Venoy Overton sat out with a suspension, while Washington State swingman Klay Thompson returned from one.

In a game with NCAA tournament implications for both teams, third-seeded Washington, won a barnburner, 89-87.

The Huskies (21-10) advance to face Oregon (16-16) in a Friday semifinal at 8:40 p.m. Washington split the regular-season series with the Ducks.

Thompson, the Pac-10's leading scorer, tied his career-high with 43 points to lead sixth-seeded Washington State (19-12).

He set a single-game tournament scoring record, topping the 41 points scored by California's Leon Powe in 2006.

Five players scored in double figures for the Huskies, led by Terrence Ross's 17points.

Washington State is considered a "bubble" team, but it will have to wait until Selection Sunday to find out if it got in.

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