MBB preview: No.5 Arizona vs. Oregon State

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Jackie Cabrera

Arizona men’s basketball center Oumar Ballo dunks a ball on Jan. 19 in McKale Center. The Wildcats went on to win 81-66 against USC.

Aidan Alperstein

Fresh off an Azuolas Tubelis 40-point game, Arizona mens’ basketball will host Oregon State University tonight. Saturday’s game will be a rematch, as the two schools met in Corvallis, Oregon a few weeks ago. The Wildcats won that meeting convincingly, 86-74. 

The victory was a balanced performance as the team shot about 52% from the field and saw contributions from the full starting lineup. Four players off the bench found the bottom of the net as well. Per usual, Tubelis led all scorers with 25 points and Oumar Ballo had a double-double. Now in February, the sample size is rather large and there have yet to be any signs of slowing down the duo. Arizona surely has the best forward pairing in the nation.

The Wildcats are coming into this game playing at a high level. Kerr Kriisa has been shooting phenomenally lately, as he is 15 for 29 from 3-point range throughout the last three games. Thursday night against the University of Oregon, Kriisa had 13 points, but more importantly, he facilitated a beautiful game. He finished with seven assists and only two turnovers. 

RELATED: Tubelis scores 40 points and Arizona beats Oregon 

Beavers’ head coach Wayne Tinkle has been going through a rebuild to some degree. The Beavers have a record of three wins and nine losses in the conference. The group already surpassed last season’s win total of one conference victory after a brutal 2021-2022 season.

Tinkle was tasked with replacing one of his best shot-makers, Jarod Lucas. The veteran guard entered the transfer portal last spring. Fortunately, Jordan Pope has attempted to fill the void and has shown promise as a freshman. Pope leads the Beavers in points at 12.7 per game. Glenn Taylor also plays a pivotal role for Tinkle. The junior forward is averaging about 11 points and three rebounds per game.

The Wildcats will look to continue riding the strong momentum, hoping to extend their winning streak to six games against the Beavers. Arizona has won nine out of the past ten games against the Beavers. Since the programs first met in 1975, Arizona has won 70 out of 92 games. 


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