The Oregon State Beavers jumped out to a surprising lead early in the first half before the Arizona Wildcats came storming back, showing why they were the top-ranked Pac-10 team this season. Arizona’s talent was on display as Pac-10 player of the year Derrick Williams dominated from all over the floor in a 78-69 win to advance to the semifinals of the Pac-10 Tournament.
The game turned in the second half when Oregon State forward Joe Burton, who had nine points, five rebounds and four assists, was ejected for throwing a high elbow then slapping an Arizona player. At the same time, Jared Cunningham, the Beavers leading scorer against Arizona, was forced to leave the court for an extended period of time with severe leg cramps. Without Cunningham and Burton, Oregon State was punch-less on both ends of the floor as Arizona pushed its lead further into double-digits.
Pac-10 player of the year Derrick Williams led the way for the Wildcats with 22 points and seven rebounds. Williams put on a shooting display, hitting 5-6 from three-point range and 8-12 overall. Kevin Parrom and Lamont Jones were also in double-figures with 13 points apiece. Hill finished with a game-high 12 rebounds.
Jared Cunningham, back in a starting role, and Ahmad Starks led the Beavers again on Thursday afternoon, finishing with 23 and 17 points, respectively. Devon Collier and Omari Johnson each had a team-high six rebounds, as well. Outside of Cunningham and Starks, the Beavers were unable to find any kind of offense, a problem compounded by the loss of Burton, taking away Oregon State’s inside presence.
Arizona moves on to face USC in the first of two semifinals on Saturday evening at 6 p.m. on FSN.
First round: Wednesday, March 9
Quarterfinals: Thursday, March 10
No. 4 USC Trojans def No. 5 California Golden Bears, 70-56
No. 1 Arizona Wildcats def No. 9 Oregon State, 78-69
No. 2 UCLA Bruins vs. No. 7 Oregon 6 p.m., FSN
No. 3 Washington Huskies vs. No. 6 Washington State Cougs, 8:30 p.m., FSN
Semifinals: Friday, March 11
USC vs. Arizona, 6 p.m., FSN
UCLA/Oregon vs. Washington/Washington State, 8:30 p.m., FSN
Finals: Saturday, March 12
Semifinal winners, 3 p.m., CBS
For more on the tournament, including the latest news and bracket updates, check out the rest of our 2011 Pac-10 tournament StoryStream.