Arizona Player of the Game:
Rondae Hollis-Jefferson- Arizona would not have been in the game if not for Hollis-Jefferson. The freshman has been one of the unsung heroes for the Wildcats all season and he stepped up big for his team in the absence of Brandon Ashley.
Hollis-Jefferson finished the game with a double-double, scoring 14 points and grabbing ten rebounds. He also added three assists, two blocks and a steal.
Stats of the Night:
14-4: After calling the last Arizona timeout, Sean Miller lit into his guys and it worked. The Wildcats went on a 14-4 run that spanned seven minutes and six seconds, leaving the Wildcats ahead 64-60 with just 47 seconds to go in the game. It erased Oregon's largest lead of the night and put Arizona ahead for good.
Arizona was bad for several periods throughout the game on Thursday, but it gutted it out and found a way to win. The Wildcats are trying to adjust to life without Brandon Ashley and it is going to be difficult.
Several players are adjusting to new roles and there is going to be a period of adjustment where Arizona may not look like the team it was a week ago.
The good news is that it looks like the Wildcats will see a similar approach for the remainder of the season and can find ways to combat it. Oregon played a strict 2-3 zone for most of the game and it will likely be the same way that opponents will play against Arizona from now on.
The reason that isn't a bad thing is that Arizona is trying to develop Gabe York and Elliott Pitts as quick as possible and both of them, along with T.J. McConnell and Nick Johnson, have the ability to shoot from outside and break apart the zone.
Sean Miller Quotable:
"Rondae played 34 minutes tonight," Miller said. "I think he will tell you he probably had four or five errors defensively that really hurt us. In the first half, he was guarding Calliste. You can't ever go under a screen and he went under.
"Gabe York gave up a couple. In both cases, they're not in there to that degree. They're not able to be there in the role that they currently have when we were with Brandon (Ashley). Now, part of it is that they have to learn through trial and error, through experience. I think they will. They'll get better with experience."
"It was pretty tough, but we have gritty enough players to do so and they stepped up," Hollis-Jefferson said when asked about playing with a smaller lineup. "It's nice to have a bunch of guys that are as cohesive as we are. We stick together."