Arizona defeated Oregon State on Thursday and WildcatAuthority.com takes a closer look at the game.
overcame a rough start in the first half and pulled away from Oregon State down the stretch as the Wildcats defeated the Beavers 78-69 in the Pac-10 Tournament on Thursday. The victory advances UA into the second round where it will face a very tough USC
squad that beat the Wildcats just a couple of weeks ago.
OSU came to play on Thursday and was in control early. The problem for the Beavers was that they played just the night before and eventually ran out of gas. Arizona proved to be too much in the second half and was able to advance with a nine-point victory.
Derrick Williams' performance in the first half allowed the Wildcats to not only stay in the ballgame, but take a three point lead into the half. Williams scored 16 of his 22 points in the first half before his teammates took over in the second.
Williams was especially deadly from behind the three-point line on Thursday. The sophomore hit five out of six shots from beyond the arc and his range helped open up the floor for his teammates in the second half. Williams also grabbed seven rebounds and collected two steals en route to the win.
Sophomore Kevin Parrom was in the starting lineup Thursday, but took a while to get going. After being held scoreless in the first half, Parrom scored all 13 of his points in the second half and all five of his field goals came near the basket. The sophomore's play in the second half helped the Wildcats extend their lead to double figures and keep OSU at a safe distance.
Parrom contributed in other areas as well, grabbing seven rebounds and dishing out four assists in what turned out to be a very good all-around performance.
Guard Lamont Jones had a big second half as well, scoring 10 of his 13 in the frame. The sophomore point guard knocked down a couple of big three point shots right out of the break and really set the tone for how the rest of the game would transpire.
Forward Solomon Hill had a huge game on the glass, leading all rebounders with 11. Hill continues to play a much more aggressive brand of basketball and not only has his individual performance improved from it, but so has the play of the team as a whole. The sophomore also scored nine points, dished out a pair of assists, blocked a shot and collected a steal.
Arizona quieted guard Jared Cunningham in the second half. After lighting the Wildcats up for 19 points in the first 20 minutes, Cunningham was held to just four points in the second half. Cunningham scored several of his points off of steals, but UA played a much more efficient brand of offense in the second half and prevented Cunningham from disrupting the Wildcats' offensive flow and creating easy baskets for himself.
The Wildcats struggled with free throws at times and ended the contest 9-of-13 from the foul line. That may have made more of a difference if Oregon State didn't experience struggles of its own from the charity stripe. The Beavers were a miserable 6-for-16 from the line.
Three point shooting has been one of Arizona's strong points this season and the Wildcats sharp-shooting surfaced once again. Led by Williams' five three-pointers, UA hit 11 out of 21 attempts from long range, a percentage of 52.4.
The victory puts Arizona in a matchup with USC on Friday evening at Staples Center. A win in that affair would give UA a chance to win its first Pac-10 Tournament since 2002.