Originally posted on Fox Sports Arizona  |  Last updated 3/10/12
LOS ANGELES Give the First Brother-in-Law credit he has brought a change that Oregon State can believe in. While Beavers coach Craig Robinson is putting his program in place, Arizona is already there, and coach Sean Miller believed that reservoir of big-game experience had a lot to do with the Wildcats' strong play in the second half of their 72-61 Pac-12 semifinal victory over Oregon State. Arizona, relying on five players who played in the conference championship game a year ago, used a 20-3 run to overcome a seven-point halftime lead and gain control eight minutes into the second half. "Sometimes as a coach you have a feel that you guys have been there before, and it's somewhat understated how many postseason games we played a year ago," said Miller, whose team was a last-second 3-pointer from the Final Four in 2011. "When you are at halftime and you're behind in the game and you're playing these elimination games, it certainly helps to have a team or individual players that have done that. It's always good when you are down at halftime to respond the way we did. "It's makes you feel good because you know you have belief in what we are doing. You have guys that don't get down on each other. It would have been easy at halftime for us to say it just doesn't feel right,' but we did just the opposite." Senior Kyle Fogg led Arizona with 22 points, and Jesse Perry had 16 points and 11 rebounds, his second double-double here and 12th of the season. Freshman Nick Johnson ran the team from the point, and Miller cited him as a player who, with mentoring from the team's veterans, has developed a similar resilience. Johnson had nine points and five assists. "Any time you have seniors and older players playing like we have, guys like Nick, they follow and become part of it," Miller said. "It was one of the best games he has played at Arizona. He's had bigger scoring games, but he did so many valuable things, and he's getting better on defense." Follow Jack Magruder on Twitter
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