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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


MBB preview: No.5 Arizona vs. Oregon

Jackie Cabrera

Arizona men’s basketball players Oumar Ballo and Pelle Larsson celebrate scoring against UCLA on Jan. 21 in McKale Center. The Wildcats went on to win with a score of 52-58.

The Arizona men’s basketball team will host the Oregon schools this weekend. The first test of the weekend will be the veteran oriented University of Oregon. Thursday night’s contest will be the second meeting between the two schools of the 2022-2023 season. The Wildcats came up short in the opening round in Eugene a few weeks ago. 

During the first matchup, Oregon head coach Dana Altman executed a game plan that led to an 87-68 Ducks victory. Arizona had faced adversity throughout most of the game, trailing for almost all of the 40 minutes. 

The Wildcats were down by six  points at the halfway point. However, the tides started to turn during the initial minutes of the second half. All Wildcat starters came out flat out of the locker room, and the crowd of Matthew Knight Arena took all the Ducks needed. 

The 19-point win featured four different players in double figures for Altman. The main headline was the dominance of N’faly Dante, who had his way with Oumar Ballo. Various finishes above the rim highlighted Dante’s 31-point and 10-rebound performance. The senior forward challenged the mobility of Ballo and won the battle. 

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University of South Carolina transfer Jermaine Couisnard poured six 3-pointers and shot 9/14 from the floor.  Couisnard answered the call every time the Wildcats put together the run and ultimately helped blow the game away during the last 10 minutes. 

For Arizona, there were not many positives despite Kylan Boswell shining off the bench. The freshman finished with 15 points on 6 for 11 shooting from the field, one of his most impressive collegiate performances. If Arizona wants to split the regular season series, winning the rebounding battle Thursday will be critical. In the loss, Arizona was out-rebounded by 10 which limited second-chance points as the Wildcats only had five. 

Arizona has an all-time record of 51-37 against Oregon. Last season, the Ducks came to McKale Center, and Arizona squeezed out a victory 84-81. Oregon guard Will Richardson and forward Quincy Guerrier finished with over 20 points. For the Wildcats, Azuolas Tubelis and Pelle Larsson scored in double figures. Thursday night’s game will take place at 8:30 p.m. and can be seen on ESPN. 

Follow Aidan Alperstein on Twitter

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