LOS ANGELES - The most memorable image from Arizona’s trip to the Pac-10 tournament last year was the televised shot of Andre Iguodala, while in the tunnel waiting to hit the court, talking on his cell phone.
Don’t bother calling the Wildcats this time around, though, because the phones are being left on voice mail.
Top-seeded Arizona put together a second straight dominant effort, following up its 25-point first round win over California with an even more impressive 90-59 victory over Oregon State in the Pac-10 semifinals Friday night at Staples Center.
The win puts the Wildcats (27-5) into the Pac-10 final for the fifth time in the nine years of the event, and the first since winning its fourth straight conference tournament championship in 2002.
Arizona will face secondseeded Washington today at 4 p.m. in a game that could push it toward a No. 1 seed in next week’s NCAA tournament.
Whatever seed it earns next week, it will be a result of Arizona’s play on defense more than anything one might see on SportsCenter.
"It’s not all about scoring," said freshman Jawann McClellan, who had 15 points but was also integral in an overall team effort on defense that limited the fifth-seeded Beavers (17-14) to 29.2 percent shooting in the second half and 38.9 percent overall.
"I’ve said from pretty early in the year I’ve felt this could be the best defensive (team) we’ve had at Arizona because we have quickness at every spot," Arizona coach Lute Olson said. "This has been something that’s happened with this team pretty much all season long."
The Wildcats’ breakdowns on defense in the first half prevented them from having a bigger lead than the 40-35 halftime advantage they held. Those breakdowns didn’t come back out of the locker room with the Wildcats for the final 20 minutes, when Arizona quickly put the game away with a 12-0 run fueled by five Beaver turnovers.
"We’re staying aggressive," said junior Hassan Adams, who had 14 points, six rebounds and four assists and helped keep Oregon State’s guards in check. "Everyone’s taking pride in that all season. It’s all about sacrifices."
The Wildcats held an opponent under 70 points for the 15th time this season, and under 60 for the fourth time, and for the year are limiting foes to 69.2 points per game.
"Last year we showed we can score with anybody but . . . we’d lose," said sophomore Mustafa Shakur, who had all 10 of his points in the second half. "Now we understand we need to stop (teams) on defense."
Arizona led 20-9 after a 10-0 run that included a pair of 3s by Salim Stoudamire. Stoudamire’s third trey, which gave him 322 for his career and moved him within one of former Arizona State guard Stevin Smith’s Pac-10 record, put the Wildcats up 30-18.
The Beavers fought back to as close as 36-33 with 2:40 left in the first half, but the second half was all Arizona.
After the 12-0 run made it 52-35 with 16:03 left, Oregon State never got closer than 11 points as it only managed seven second-half field goals. The Wildcats were just the opposite on offense, hitting 22 of 32 shots (68.8 percent) to finish the game hitting at a 59.3 percent clip.
Senior Channing Frye continued his hot shooting, following up Thursday’s 10-of-11 effort against California by hitting 6 of 7 from the field for 17 points.
NO. 14 WASHINGTON 66, STANFORD 63: At Los Angeles, Bobby Jones scored 12 of his 14 points in the second half, Nate Robinson also had 14 points, and the Huskies (26-5) overcame a poor shooting performance to beat the Cardinal (18-12) in the semifinals of the Pac-10 tournament.
Washington gained a measure of revenge against Stanford, which beat the Huskies 77-67 last Saturday to spoil their opportunity to earn a share of the regular season conference championship for the first time in 20 years.
Matt Haryasz led Stanford with 15 points and seven rebounds. Chris Hernandez had 13 points and six assists.