Arizona was able to defeat Oregon State on Saturday. Read on for numerous notes on how the Wildcats got it done.
rebounded from its first loss of the season by defeating the Oregon State
Beavers 80-70 on Saturday night. The victory moves UA's Pac-12 record to 3-1 on the season and gives the Wildcats a split on their first conference road trip of the season.
The game was in Arizona's favor for much of the contest. OSU kept it close in the first half, but the Wildcats extended their lead to eight by halftime.
UA extended its lead to as much as 17 in the second half and was able to hold off Oregon State to come away with the double digit victory.
The Wildcats were able to maintain their lead by playing strong defense - especially along the perimeter – and executing well on the offensive end of the floor.
After struggling defensively on Thursday against the Ducks, Arizona looked much more focused against OSU. The Wildcats held the Beavers to 39 percent shooting from the floor and just 33 percent from behind the three point line. Oregon State struggled to get quality shots from all over the court, whether it along the perimeter or inside the paint.
The Wildcats had a very balanced attack, which featured a team shooting percentage of 47.5 and four players reaching double figures. On top of that, the Wildcats' bench combined for 17 points.
Solomon Hill tied for the team lead in points with 16 and did most of his damage from the outside. All five of Hill's made field goals were from beyond the arc with the only other point coming from the foul line. Hill also added six rebounds, two of which came on the offensive end of the floor.
Mark Lyons tied Hill's team-high 16 points and did a good job of breaking the Beavers' defense down off the dribble. Lyons was able to drive into the paint and make plays by not just scoring, but facilitating as well, as he tied for the team lead in assists with five. The senior also made an impact on the glass, recording five rebounds.
It was another strong showing from guard Nick Johnson. The sophomore finished with 14 points, six rebounds and five assists. It was business as usual for Johnson, who was able to contribute in his typical all-around fashion.
A game after the starting backcourt of Lyons and Johnson combined for eight turnovers, the duo committed just three between them and totaled 10 assists. With an assist-to-turnover ratio of 3-to-1, it's no wonder why the Wildcats' offense performed in a much more efficient manner.
Brandon Ashley was the fourth Wildcat to reach double-digits with 12 points on 6-for-8 shooting. Ashley was big on the boards as well, grabbing a team-high seven rebounds. The freshman big man did plenty of cleanup work on the offensive end of the floor where he picked up three of his rebounds and contributed to several second-chance opportunities for UA.
It wasn't just the perimeter defense that was strong for Arizona. OSU had trouble scoring in the paint and one of the biggest reasons for the Beavers' struggles inside was the defense of Grant Jerrett.
The freshman big man was very disruptive in the key and it led to six blocks. UA needed someone to take a stand in the paint defensively against Oregon State and Jerrett clearly was ready to answer the call.
Jerrett's performance was more than just defense. The forward led the bench with eight points on 3-for-5 shooting and grabbed five rebounds to lead the second unit.
The bench only came through with six points against Oregon on Thursday, but put together a much better performance on Saturday night against OSU. On top of the 17 points scored, UA's reserves totaled eight rebounds, seven blocks, three assists and two steals in the winning effort.