Arizona tops Oregon St. 72-61 to make Pac-12 final

By Beth Harris

Associated Press

Published: Friday, March 9 2012 9:46 p.m. MST

Arizona's Kyle Fogg points to his teammate after making a three-point basket during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game against the Oregon State in the semifinals of the Pac-12 Conference championship in Los Angeles, Friday, March 9, 2012. Standing at right is Oregon State's Jared Cunningham

Jae C. Hong, Associated Press

LOS ANGELES — Kyle Fogg scored 22 points and Arizona rallied with a big run after halftime to beat Oregon State 72-61 on Friday night, sending the Wildcats into the championship game of the Pac-12 Conference tournament.

Jesse Perry had 16 points and 11 rebounds, and Solomon Hill added 12 before fouling out with 5:30 to play for the fourth-seeded Wildcats (23-10), who will seek their fifth tournament title in Saturday's final at Staples Center. Arizona's four titles and 21 victories are the most of any school in the event's 15-year history.

Roberto Nelson scored 19 points, Devon Collier added 15 and Jared Cunningham had 14 for the ninth-seeded Beavers (19-14), who were cheered courtside for the third straight game by alumni Gary Payton and A.C. Green.

But even with Payton chewing out a referee, the former NBA stars couldn't help the Beavers withstand Arizona's 20-3 run that opened the second half.

The Wildcats began the game on a similar run that threatened to turn the semifinal into a rout. Oregon State answered that one well enough to lead by seven at halftime.

The Wildcats fired up their 3-point arsenal, hitting three during the second-half outburst that produced a 47-37 lead. They were 9 of 18 from long range in the game.

Oregon State scored five in a row to get to 47-42 but never got any closer in their first semifinal appearance since 2005. Coach Craig Robinson was irate about the officiating, yelling in the final minutes toward one referee about another, "He hasn't gotten anything right."

Fogg, Perry and Hill dominated for the second straight game. The trio combined for 55 of Arizona's points in its 66-58 quarterfinal win over UCLA.

Arizona hit four 3-pointers in opening a 23-14 lead while the Beavers were slow to get untracked, starting out 3 of 10 from the floor. But Oregon State ignited with a 20-4 run over the final 6:58 to lead 34-27 at halftime. Cunningham had six points, Collier five and Joe Burton four in the spurt, which had Payton and Green on their feet clapping.

The Wildcats were held to only Fogg's 3-pointer and a free throw by Nick Johnson during a stretch of 6 ½ minutes. Fogg played in his school-record 137th game, breaking Jason Gardner's record.

Arizona played without freshman guard Josiah Turner, who was suspended indefinitely before the tournament for the second time this season after he violated unspecified team rules.

The Beavers' 19 wins under Robinson are their most since having 22 in the 1989-90 season. They lost to the Wildcats in overtime in the regular season, and fell to 0-6 against them in the tournament.

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