CORVALLIS, Oregon (Ticker) -- Jay John was a part of several big moments on Arizona's coaching staff. He's hoping a win over his former school leads to some glory at Oregon State.
David Lucas and Chris Stephens scored 22 points apiece as Oregon State ended a seven-game losing streak against 13th-ranked Arizona with a 90-84 Pac-10 Conference victory.
John spent four seasons as an assistant on Lute Olson's staff from 1997-2001. During his tenure with the Wildcats, they won 101 games, a national championship and played in another title game.
In his second season in Corvallis, John has his team starting to show positive signs. The Beavers lost six straight from January 17-February 7 but have won three of four and are battling for the final spot in the Pac-10 tournament.
"Yeah, I've got to say that was a big one," John said. "We beat Oregon and that is also big for our program. So those two home wins have shown that we are making progress and are starting to head in the right direction."
Olson, whose team has road losses at California, Washington and Southern California, credited his former assistant's squad with being more prepared than the Wildcats.
"To sum it up in a few words, the team that played the hardest won," Olson said. "They worked the ball. They had good looks, very few shots that I'm sure coach John wouldn't want them to have taken. We had a lot of shots we wouldn't have wanted our guys to take."
Oregon State (11-13, 5-9 Pac-10) grabbed the lead for good just three minutes into the game. They were ahead, 45-41, at halftime, then forced 13 turnovers in the second half to keep the Wildcats (17-7, 9-6) at bay.
Arizona never found a rhythm and went nearly five minutes without a basket after Salim Stoudamire's 3-pointer sliced the deficit to 57-54 with 13:40 remaining. The Wildcats got 18 points from Channing Frye, but Stoudamire battled foul trouble and finished with 12.
Once Oregon State started to pull away, chants of "Overrated, Overrated" echoed through the crowd of 9,248 at Gill Coliseum. After the horn sounded, fans rushed the court.
"We've been through a whole lot this year and have had some tough times," John said. "But our players are now adjusting and sorting things out on the court, which is leading to some great efforts and big plays."
Lucas, the son of former NBA standout Maurice Lucas, topped 20 points for the sixth consecutive game. The 6-7 junior and former walk-on, made 10-of-14 shots, including a pair of dunks in the final five minutes.
"I didn't see David go in for a tip dunk, but he saw the opportunity and I'm not sure he would have seen that in early December or January," John said. "Guys are gaining confidence and I am really happy to for that."
Stephens made 8-of-15 shots, including 4-of-8 3-pointers.