Postgame Analysis: Arizona vs. Oregon State

Arizona won handily on Sunday night. The Wildcats came away with a 22-point victory over Oregon State. Read on to find out how they did it, who the player of the game was, and more.

Arizona jumped out to an early lead against Oregon State and it only got bigger. The Wildcats had the largest lead of the game, 24-points, in the final minutes of a 76-54 win over the Beavers. Here's an analysis of what happened:

Arizona Players of the Game:

Aaron Gordon – The freshman finally snapped out of his offensive slump on Sunday night. He nailed a three-pointer, took a defender off the bounce with a behind-the-back dribble for a layup, and topped it off with a tremendous defensive effort.

Gordon finished with a game-high seventeen points, five rebounds and also added an assist, a block and a steal.

It was a breakout type of game for the freshman and the hope is that he will continue to play the same way in future games. Gordon played within himself, hitting 8 of his 12 shots, though he missed his only free throw attempt.

Key Moments:

  • Arizona and Oregon State both battled it out for the first 15 minutes of the game, but it was the Wildcats who threw the hardest punch just before halftime. Arizona led 25-24 when it went on a 6-0 run to break open the game. T.J. McConnell made a jumper at the top of the key, while Kaleb Tarczewski scored on a put back attempt. McConnell scored on a put back of his own and Arizona closed the half on a 12-3 run, highlighted by a Gabe York three pointer.

  • Leading at halftime, Arizona wasn't done and Aaron Gordon found his stride early in the second half to help the Wildcats open a big lead. Gordon cut through the lane with a nifty behind-the-back dribble move and scored the layup, putting Arizona up 14 at the first media timeout of the second half.

  • With nine and a half minutes remaining in the game, Arizona threw the final big punch. A missed shot by Oregon State turned into a quick attack by the Wildcats. Gordon took the ball on the block, cut under the basket and made the reverse layup, putting his team up 55-39 and forcing an Oregon State timeout.

  • The final dagger for the Wildcats came with just two minutes left in the game. Rondae Hollis-Jefferson stole the ball at midcourt and completed the dunk at the other for a 20-point Wildcat lead.

    Stats of the Night:

    13-0: Arizona outscored Oregon State 13-0 on second-chance points. The Wildcats pushed around the Beavers on the glass all night, but really bullied them on the offensive glass, winning that rebounding battle 15-4. Holding Oregon State to zero second-chance points for the entire game was a huge accomplishment and should be a great confidence builder for the team in the absence of Brandon Ashley.

    General Thoughts:

    Arizona looked really good throughout the entire ball game. There weren't really any ups and downs and that was a main reason that the Wildcats were able to pull away for a big victory. On the offensive end of the court, the gas pedal was to the floor and it was one of the best performances the Wildcats have had this season.

    Additionally, Arizona was able to grab 15 offensive rebounds and win the rebounding battle 39-24 over the entire game. After having a few games where the Wildcats struggled as a whole on the glass, it was a sight for sore eyes to see Arizona rebound like that for the entire game.

    Going forward, Arizona will need to continue to play the way that it did on Sunday. If the Wildcats can continue to improve the younger players and keep up the offensive intensity, then they can still make a solid run to finish the season and be a very dangerous team when it comes to win-or-go-home time in March.

    Sean Miller Quotable:

    "Today, we gained confidence" Miller said. "We were more confident on offense. We are learning that defensively, minus someone as long as Brandon Ashley is, there are a few things that we have to get better at.

    "All things considered, when you out-rebound a team like Oregon State, as big and as physical as they are, they are the best team in the conference for second shots.

    "We came into this game wanting eight turnovers or less. We had 15 assists and eight turnovers. If we take care of the ball and out-rebound on offense and defense, that is when we are at our best."

    Wildcat Quotable:

    "I felt good out there, "senior guard Jordin Mayes said. "I got to the free throw line a few times and was able to hit an open three. It gives me confidence to hit some shots. I just want to go out there and play basketball, getting my teammates and hitting open shots."

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