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Updated: Friday, March 11, 2005 12:21 AM EST
NCAA BASKETBALL RECAP
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(8) Arizona 88, California 63

LOS ANGELES (Ticker) -- Channing Frye got Arizona's postseason off to a stellar start with his near-perfect shooting.

Frye made his first 10 shots en route to 22 points as eighth-ranked Arizona routed California, 88-63, in the quarterfinals of the Pac-10 tournament.

After a disappointing loss in the semifinals of the event here last season, the Wildcats (26-5) came out shooting in this one. In search of its fifth tournament title, Arizona scored the first 10 points and led 42-23 at the break.

The impressive start also proved to be a good sign for the Wildcats, who have an outside shot of being named a No. 1 seed in the upcoming NCAA Tournament.

"I think it's realistic on attaining a No. 1 one seed because everything depends on how well teams play in these tournaments," Arizona coach Lute Olson said. "If someone gets knocked out in the first round, I'm not sure they will go in as a No. 1 seed."

"We want to get a No. 1 seed so we have to go out focused every night," Wildcats guard Salim Stoudamire said.

The Wildcats next will face Oregon State in the semifinals on Friday.

Frye made all six of his shots in the opening 20 minutes for 14 points and was perfect from the field until he missed a 3-pointer with 13:05 to play. Arizona had a 60-34 cushion at the time.

"I felt with Salim and his technical problem (shooting), I had to step up for the team," Frye said. "I was kind of upset that I wasn't doing my job on the defensive end, so I didn't want to waste an opportunity on the offensive end."

Named to the all-conference first team on Monday, Frye finished 10-of-11 from the field with two blocks, continuing his sizzling shooting over the Bears this season. In three wins over California, the 6-11 senior has scored 62 points on 70 percent (26-of-37).

Stoudamire, who was just 2-of-6 shooting, and Mustafa Shakur chipped in 10 points apiece for the Wildcats, who shot 58 percent (36-of-62), including 7-of-17 from the arc.

Stoudamire made one 3-pointer and needs five more to break the conference mark of 323 career 3-pointers held by Arizona State's Stevin Smith, who ended his career in 1994.

Shakur handed out eight of Arizona's 22 assists, which fell one shy of matching the tournament record of 23 set by the Wildcats against Oregon State in a semifinal matchup in 1989.

Dominic McGuire scored a career-high 13 points and Richard Midgley added 10 for California (13-16), which shot 39 percent (26-of-67) and was outrebounded, 39-27, in its 13th loss in its last 14 games with Arizona.

"I thought we had a good week of practice, coach (Ben) Braun came up with a good game plan for us, and we tried to execute it, but we couldn't knock down shots and it was hard to get back in the game," McGuire said.

The Bears, who tied season lows in rebounds and free-throw attempts with nine, ended their campaign on a down note, losing seven of their last eight games.

"I feel as though we can use the last half of our season as motivation for us to get better," Midgley said. "I think everyone on the team is disappointed in how we ended the season, so I guess we can use that to fuel our workouts in the summer and learn from this, and get better."


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