Wildcats win overtime thriller

Arizona defeated Oregon State 81-73 in overtime. Read on for a closer look at how the Wildcats won.

The game was as close as expected and in the end, the Wildcats simply came up in the big situations to defeat Oregon State 81-73 at McKale center.

Arizona started the game fast with two free throws by Solomon Hill and a three-pointer by Josiah Turner. Joe Burton got Oregon State on the board with a free throw and Angus Brandt added a bucket off an offensive rebound before Nick Johnson hit a three from about a foot behind the arc, as Arizona had an 8-3 lead at the 15 minute mark.

After an Oregon State score, Fogg hit a three and that process repeated itself, as Fogg's second three gave Arizona the 14-7 lead with about 12 minutes left in the first half. The teams then exchanged buckets a few times down court, as a Devon Collier layup cut Arizona's lead to 16-13 with under nine minutes left.

Both teams exchanged free throws and baskets before Brendon Lavender answered a free throw by Eric Moreland with a three-point play to give the Wildcats a 21-17 lead with 4:42 lead. Cunningham came right down and hit a three to bring the Beavers within one, forcing Arizona to take a timeout not too long after the basket.

A Burton free throw with about 2:30 left tied the game at 21 before Roberto Nelson was fouled and hit two free throws to give the Beavers the lead with 1:52 left in the first half. The lead did not last long, however, as Hill got an offensive rebound and put it back to tie the game at 23. Unfortunately, Cunningham hit a three the next time down court and nelson hit a mid-range jumper to put Oregon State up 28-23.

Johnson hit a three with about five seconds left in the first half and the Oregon State attempt at the buzzer was blocked, as Arizona went into halftime down 28-26.

Burton started the half with a basket and Johnson came right back for Arizona with a three-point play that cut the Beavers' lead to 30-29. After two free throws by Brandt, Perry made a layup but Cunningham answered with a three to extend the lead to four. However, Fogg hit his third three of the game and the Wildcats were down one with 17:30 left.

After a three by Cunningham, the game basically moved to the free throw line for the next few minutes, as the next eight points combined came at the line before a layup by Collier made it 43-39 in favor of the Beavers.

After yet another free throw by Collier, Lavender hit a three and Mayes followed with two of his own from the line to tie the game at 44 with a little over 12 minutes left. The next time down court, Arizona defended well and forced a turnover, which led to a three by Lavender, giving Arizona its first lead since 21-20.

It did not take long for the Beavers to tie the game, as Cunningham hit a free throw and Burton made a layup, forcing Arizona to call timeout with 9:55 left. Out of the timeout, Johnson hit a three to give the Wildcats the lead right back, but Collier answered with a layup.

After the teams exchanged free throws, Lavender hit a three-pointer that was matched by Brandt, but then came down and hit his fourth of the game, as Arizona forced a turnover on the enxt possession and went into a timeout up 58-54 with about seven minutes left.

Johnson missed two free throws that would have extended the lead, but Arizona answered two free throws by Cunningham with a bucket by Mayes and two points at the line from Fogg to take the 62-56 lead with over five minutes left. Unfortunately for Arizona, Burton and Moreland had consecutive layups and Arizona was forced to call timeout with its lead down to two.

After the teams exchanged buckets, a three-pointer by Lavender extended the lead to five, but Ahmad Starks came right back and answered with one of his own. Starks then had a layup not too long after that tied the game at 67 before two free throws by Fogg gave Arizona the lead again with 1:20 left. However, Starks hit a three soon after and the Beavers took the one-point lead.

Perry was fouled and went to the line with 43 seconds, but was only able to hit one of two free throws to tie the game at 70. Starks once again struck, hitting a jumper with 20 seconds left for the lead, but Fogg hit a layup of his own to tie the game with under ten seconds left and force overtime.

Cunningham made a free throw at the start of overtime, but a Perry offensive rebound and basket gave Arizona the 74-73 lead with 3:45 left in overtime. Johnson went to the line and made one of two free throws for the two-point lead before tip dunk by Johnson extended the lead to four with 1:25 left.

A skirmish broke out at the 1:15 mark when Fogg was fouled by Cunningham. It looked as if Hill got involved and Kyryl Natyazhko left the bench, leading to an ejection. Technicals were called on Fogg, Natyazhko, Burton, and Cunningham. Perry's free throw missed, but Arizona was up six with under a minute to go and a steal by Turner basically sealed the deal.

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