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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Arizona falls to Oregon 59-54, drops out of first place in Pac-12

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Amy Bailey
Wildcat Justin Coleman (12) gets the ball stolen from him by the Oregon defense during the Arizona-Oregon game on Thursday Jan. 17 at McKale Center in Tucson Ariz.

Fresh off a 4-0 conference start and sweep in the Bay Area, Arizona men’s basketball looked like it was  starting to separate themselves in a wide-open Pac-12. Preseason favorite Oregon has fallen off the national radar due to injuries, and inconsistent play. 

Thursday night, the Ducks put the conference on notice, coming into McKale Center and defeating the Wildcats 59-54 in a game they led for the final 27:08 of play.

Oregon held the lead the entire second half, with Arizona unable to get much of anything on offense. The ‘Cats shot just 6-22 from three-point range on the game and just 35 percent for the game. Ball movement also plagued the ‘Cats, with Arizona finishing the game with just nine assists to go along with 14 turnovers. 

Sean Miller encourages Justin Coleman (12) during the Arizona-Oregon game on Thursday Jan. 17 at McKale Center in Tucson Ariz.  The game ended Oregon 59 and Arizona 54.
Sean Miller encourages Justin Coleman (12) during the Arizona-Oregon game on Thursday Jan. 17 at McKale Center in Tucson Ariz. The game ended Oregon 59 and Arizona 54.

“We’ll lose a lot of games with 14 turnovers,” head coach Sean Miller said. “There is such a big difference between 10 turnovers and 14, especially against Oregon.”

Arizona had multiple chances to cut the lead to a one-possession game in the second half, but Oregon answered each time. A Chase Jeter layup made the score 47-43 with 6:16 left to go, before Oregon went back up by nine. A Brandon Randolph 3 made it 52-48 with 2:06 left, before Victor Bailey Jr. connected on a 3 for his only points of the second half, effectively putting things away for good.

“We definitely were getting good shots, they just weren’t falling,” Ira Lee said. “It was one of those games where if we did want to win, it was gonna have to be on the defensive end. We were playing good defense, but coach said we could’ve played great defense.“

The Ducks got a big boost from big man Kenny Wooten, who returned after missing the last four games with a broken jaw. While only scoring five points, Wooten controlled the paint, finishing with seven rebounds and altering shots around the basket all night.

“We knew that the possibility of him playing was definitely out there,” Jeter said. “We had him in our scouting report.”

Oregon's Kenny Wooten (14) goes up for a lay up during the Arizona-Oregon game on Thursday, Jan. 17, 2019 at the McKale Center in Tucson, Ariz.
Oregon’s Kenny Wooten (14) goes up for a lay up during the Arizona-Oregon game on Thursday, Jan. 17, 2019 at the McKale Center in Tucson, Ariz.

The Ducks led 31-23 at the break after what was an ugly first half of basketball for Arizona. The ‘Cats started 5-10 from the floor but went 3-17 the rest of the half. Oregon was able to force nine turnovers but only scored seven points off them, saving Arizona from a potentially uglier half. 

The ‘Cats had no answer for Bailey in the half. A personal 8-0 run by Bailey gave Oregon an early cushion, with the sophomore guard going for 10 points before halftime. 

The loss drops Arizona out of first place in the conference, with undefeated Washington sitting on top at 4-0. It now sets up a huge matchup Saturday against Oregon State, who is 3-1 in conference after a 70-67 loss to ASU. Tipoff on Saturday is scheduled for 5 p.m. on the Pac-12 Network. 


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