Channing Frye made sure Arizona didn't overlook a struggling opponent. Frye had 16 points, and the 14th-ranked Wildcats routed Eastern Washington 79-45 last night to advance to...

Share story

TUCSON, Ariz. — Channing Frye made sure Arizona didn’t overlook a struggling opponent.

Frye had 16 points, and the 14th-ranked Wildcats routed Eastern Washington 79-45 last night to advance to the championship game of the Fiesta Bowl Classic.

The Wildcats will play Richmond, a 69-68 winner over Butler, for the title tomorrow night. Arizona is 38-1 in its holiday tournament.

“We want to beat teams bad,” Frye said. “We’ve had enough teams come back on us to know that we can’t let it happen again, especially at home.”

Hassan Adams added 13 points and four steals. Frye also had four steals, contributing to Eastern’s 24 turnovers.

Eastern Washington’s Marc Axton, a 1,000-point career scorer, went 3 for 12 against Arizona’s pressure and finished with seven points. Reserve Paul Butorac of Medical Lake had 11 points and Kenny Smith 10 for the Eagles (2-9), who have lost seven in a row.

The Wildcats (9-2) won their sixth straight and handed Eastern its worst loss of the season — one point worse than a 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.”

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

“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.

“They came out flying and were able to get into the passing lanes,” Eastern 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.

Other games

At Arizona State 92, Long Island 63

Ike Diogu scored 20 points in 22 minutes as the Sun Devils (10-1) defeated the Blackbirds (4-5) in the first round of the Arizona State Hoops Classic.

Arizona State advances to tonight’s championship game against Valparaiso, a 69-56 winner over Penn State.

The Sun Devils have won eight in a row for the first time since the 1980-81 season.

At USC 91, Southern 58

Lodrick Stewart, a former standout at Rainier Beach High School in Seattle, scored 20 points to lead the Trojans (7-4) past the Jaguars (3-6).

Stewart scored 14 of his points in the first half, when USC led by as many as 22 points.

At Oregon State 86, Sacramento State 59

David Lucas, playing in his first game of the season since having surgery to repair a tendon in his right toe, had 13 points to help the Beavers (8-3) defeat the Hornets (2-9).

J.S. Nash scored 15 points and Sasa Cuic had 14 for Oregon State.

At Oregon 92, Portland 67

Malik Hairston scored 20 points and Aaron Brooks, a graduate of Franklin High School in Seattle, added 17 to lead the Ducks (8-1) to victory over the Pilots (9-4).

Pooh Jeter led Portland with 22 points.