‘There is no excuse’ Arizona men’s basketball team loses another nail-biter to Oregon


Arizona point guard James Akinjo scans the floor against Oregon defender L.J. Figueroa on Saturday, Feb. 13, 2021, in Tucson, Ariz. (Courtesy of Mike Christy/Arizona Athletics)

Ryan Wohl

The Arizona men’s basketball team lost a close game on Saturday, Feb. 13, to the Oregon Ducks by a score of 63-61. The game was very close for the whole second half but in the end, the Wildcats couldn’t catch up to the Ducks.

Even after a loss, there are still some positives. Freshman Kerr Kriisa had his best game as a Wildcat with 12 points. Arizona only turned the ball over six times which is a season-low and Azuolas Tubelis had a great game with 20 points and six rebounds.

Kriisa’s performance was arguably the most memorable as he was 4-9 from three-point range and added five assists to his stat line. Kriisa had a chance at the end to win the game but missed the game-winning shot as time expired. Kriisa scored more in this game against Oregon than he did in his previous three games combined.

“When the team loses, we don’t have to talk about myself,” Kriisa said. “I’m really far from my game shape, game by game I get better and more confident.”

The Wildcats struggled a ton shooting the ball today, as they were 38.6% from the field and 39% from three. Bennedict Mathurin, who has been Arizona’s most consistent shooter throughout the last few months, was 0-6 from deep where he only scored six points on 2-10 shooting from the field. James Akinjo also had a tough game where he shot the ball 3-10 from the field.

RELATED: OPINION: All I see is dollar signs — but not going to student-athletes

“There is no excuse, you have to win close games,” head coach Sean Miller said. “When you’re in these types of games, you have to finish.”

The Arizona Wildcats only have four more games left to play this season as they aren’t participating in either tournament in March.

Arizona has three days off until they travel to California to first take on the UCLA Bruins on Thursday, Feb. 18, and then finish up their final road trip against the USC Trojans on Saturday, Feb. 20.

Follow Ryan Wohl on Twitter