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Men's Hoops: Cats finish home slate this week

CHRIS CODUTO/Arizona Daily Wildcat
Junior guard Hassan Adams drives toward the basket over Oregon's Bryce Taylor during Arizona's win against Oregon Jan. 20 at McArthur Court in Eugene, Ore.
By Amanda Branam
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Thursday, February 17, 2005
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The No. 10 Arizona men's basketball team faces the Oregon schools this weekend for its final home games of the season.

"Our guys are very focused on getting better. They're not satisfied with this weekend," said Arizona head coach Lute Olson about their sweep of the Los Angeles schools on the road last week.

The Wildcats (21-4, 11-2 Pacific 10 Conference) have sole possession of first place after being tied for first for almost the entirety of conference play with Washington.

Oregon State upset the Huskies 90-73 Sunday to give the Wildcats a one-game lead in the conference.

Last time the Wildcats had sole possession of first place was after beating the Huskies at home on Jan. 27.

Arizona lost to Washington State two days later, putting them right back where they started.

"It's a big push for us to go out there and take care of it. It's on us," said junior forward Hassan Adams.

Oregon boasts a young team, with no seniors and two juniors. Four of the five starters are freshmen or sophomores: sophomore point guard Aaron Brooks, freshman guard Malik Hairston, sophomore forward Mitch Platt and freshman guard Bryce Taylor.

The Ducks had three juniors on the team until yesterday, when Oregon head coach Ernie Kent dismissed junior forward and starter Ian Crosswhite from the team for violating athletic department policy.

Crosswhite led Oregon in rebounds per game with 5.7, and was the fourth-leading scorer with 8.4 points per game.

Brooks leads the Ducks in scoring with 15 points per game, and adds 4.7 assists. The Ducks split last weekend with the Washington schools, losing to Washington 95-88 but defeating Washington State 69-66 in Eugene, Ore.

"They're playing real good right now," Adams said of Oregon. "They almost beat Washington in a big game. They're playing together and playing good, so we aren't going to take them lightly."

Oregon State (14-9, 6-6) comes to Tucson Sunday, coming off their big upset over the Huskies in Corvallis, Ore. Tip-off is at 2:30 p.m.

Beavers senior forward and current Pac-10 Player of the Week David Lucas scored 17 of his 23 points in the second half in the win over the Huskies, and led the team with 10 rebounds.

Lucas leads Oregon State in both points and rebounds per game, at 16.4 and 6.1, respectively.

The Beavers defeated Washington State 58-51 on Feb. 10 for a sweep of the Washington schools.

After the Oregon State game, there will be a ceremony to honor the careers of senior guard Salim Stoudamire and senior center Channing Frye.

"The feeling is half and half," said Frye of the ceremony's impact. "I'm kind of glad to be moving on, but at the same time kind of sad to see everybody go. I've had my time here, and hopefully, I can go out a winner."

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