E Washington 45

(2-9, 1-7 away)

(14) Arizona 79

(9-2, 7-1 home)

    8:30 PM ET, December 28, 2004

    McKale Center, Tucson, Arizona

    1 2 T
    EWU 23 2245
    #14ARIZ 39 4079

    Top Performers

    Eastern Washington: P. Butorac 11 Pts, 6 Reb, 1 Ast

    Arizona: C. Frye 16 Pts, 3 Reb, 4 Stl, 3 Blk

    Wildcats will play Richmond in final

    TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) -- For a team looking ahead to opening the Pac-10 schedule against its archrival, No. 14 Arizona stayed remarkably focused on Eastern Washington.

    "We want to be ready for Arizona State after we play the Richmond game," Channing Frye said after the Wildcats beat the Eagles 79-45 Tuesday night in the Fiesta Bowl Classic. "We are definitely stepping it up into the next (conference) season."

    Arizona plays Richmond, a 69-68 victor over Butler, for the tournament championship Thursday night. The Wildcats are 38-1 in their holiday tournament, losing only to Mississippi State in 2000 while coach Lute Olson was at the bedside of his cancer-stricken wife.

    Frye had 16 points and Hassan Adams scored 13. Both had four steals, contributing to Eastern's 24 turnovers.

    "It was good, solid defense by everybody, even when we got (into) the bench," Olson said.

    Marc Axton, a 1,000-point career scorer, went 3-for-12 against Arizona's pressure and finished with seven points. Reserve Paul Butorac had 11 points and Kenny Smith 10.

    The Wildcats (9-2) won their sixth straight and handed the Eagles their worst loss of the season -- one point worse than the 33-point defeat at No. 13 Washington on Dec. 5.

    "They both are great teams," Butorac said. "It shows why they are the best in the Pac-10."

    Eastern Washington (2-9), a preseason favorite to repeat as Big Sky Conference champion, has lost seven straight during a difficult stretch which began against the Huskies and included consecutive games against Gonzaga and Arizona.

    A week earlier, Arizona beat Manhattan 105-75 in its best performance of the year, shooting 52 percent to silence some early season critics. They kept up the sharp shooting against the Eagles, hitting 61.5 percent in the first half and 53.8 percent for the game.

    Frye was 7-of-11 from the floor, including 6-of-8 in the first half when he scored 12.

    "It was great to have an all-around game," Adams said. "It started defensively. That was big, because we are keeping the defensive intensity up."

    The Wildcats led by 16 points at halftime and squeezed any suspense out of the game with an 18-6 run that featured seven straight points by Adams. Salim Stoudamire had four points during a 9-0 finish to the run, capping it with a spectacular reverse layup.

    The 6-minute surge opened a 62-34 lead with 8:56 left, and both coaches sent reserves in to finish the game minutes later.

    "They came out flying and were able to get into the passing lanes," Eagles coach Mike Burns said. "We were expecting it, but we just couldn't do anything about it."

    Arizona made 13 of its first 19 shots and forced the Eagles into 13 turnovers by the 7:33 mark of the first half.

    Frye made a layup for a 14-4 lead and a jump hook with 12:07 to go, increasing the lead to 16-7.

    After a 3-pointer by Butorac, Arizona went on a 13-4 run capped by Daniel Dillon's 3-pointer for a 29-14 lead with 7:33 remaining.

    Jawann McClellan, another freshman, gave Arizona its biggest lead of the first half at 39-23 when he made a free throw with 1.9 seconds left after getting an offensive rebound.<

    ^Richmond 69, Butler 68=

    Courtney Nelson drove the length of court to score on a layup with three seconds left, lifting Richmond to a 69-68 win over Butler in the first round of the Fiesta Bowl Classic.

    The final basket, only Nelson's second of the game, ended a tight contest in which no more than six points separated the teams.

    The lead changed hands four times in the final 54 seconds -- on two free throws by Butler's Bruce Horan and Jamie Smalligan, a 3-pointer by Richmond's Jermaine Bucknor and Nelson's slash across the lane.

    Bucknor had 20 points, leading Richmond for the third straight game. Kevin Steenberge scored 16 and Jamaal Scott 11 for the Spiders (5-4).

    Smalligan led the Bulldogs (5-4) with 20 points. Avery Sheets had 12 and A.J. Graves and Brandon Polk 11 apiece.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Team Stat Comparison

    Points 45 79
    FG Made-Attempted 17-52 (.327) 28-52 (.538)
    3P Made-Attempted 5-16 (.313) 7-16 (.438)
    FT Made-Attempted 6-11 (.545) 16-24 (.667)
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 22 (0/0) 16 (0/0)
    Largest Lead 0 37

    2004-05 Season

    » Dec 28, 2004 @ARIZ 79, EWU 45Recap