Postgame Analysis: Arizona vs. Oregon State

Arizona had to fight hard to come out with the 74-69 win on Wednesday night. Read on to find out how the Wildcats did it, who the player of the game was, and more.

Arizona had to fight hard, but the the Wildcats were able to beat the Oregon State Beavers 74-69 on the road on Wednesday night. Here's an analysis of what happened:

Arizona Player of the Game:

Nick Johnson – Nick Johnson had his Pac-12 Player of the Year moments in this one. The junior guard put the team on his back and carried them to victory. Johnson battled it out with Roberto Nelson and the Beavers, scoring 25 points on 8-18 shooting for the night and adding six rebounds and four assists. It was a game that the Wildcats needed Johnson to step up and he answered.

Key Moments:

  • Arizona spread the ball around early and forced an Oregon State timeout with smothering defense and a solid offensive effort. Aaron Gordon hit a jumper, Nick Johnson added a three-ball and Kaleb Tarczewski watched several Beavers fly by him before throwing down a dunk for an early 7-0 lead.

  • Oregon State cut the Arizona lead to just one with nine minutes left in the first half, which was when the Wildcats tried to open up the game. Johnson had six points over the next five minutes and his team went on a 12-4 run to open up a nine-point lead with four minutes remaining in the first half.

  • Every time Arizona got what seemed to be a nice lead going for it, Oregon State battled back. The Wildcats trailed by one when Daniel Gomis was whistled for a technical foul after touching Tarczewski inappropriately. Johnson hit one of the ensuing free throws and Arizona went on a 10-0 run that gave the Wildcats a seven-point lead.

  • Late in the game, Arizona was leading 69-64 with just thirty seconds to go. Oregon State had the ball in Hallice Cooke's hands, but Rondae Hollis-Jefferson blocked his shot, gathered the rebound, and raced down the court, getting fouled on his own layup attempt. The two free throws from Hollis-Jefferson gave the Wildcats a seven-point advantage, effectively sealing the game for Arizona.

    Stats of the Night:

    15: Although it did not effect the outcome, Oregon State's 15 second-chance points kept the Beavers in the game. The Wildcats were out rebounded 43-34 in the game and gave up 16 offensive rebounds to the opposition. It will be something that Sean Miller looks at with much criticism in the film session.

    General Thoughts: Arizona's offense was not what it had been the previous few games on Wednesday night. The Wildcats had a few too many sloppy passes and even had some easy shots that did not fall. It didn't stop Arizona from winning the game, but it definitely made the game closer than it needed to be.

    Gabe York generally played well, as he finished with 12 points and played solid defense for most of the night. His offense comes in spurts and it has been when Arizona has needed it the most.

    Arizona needed Nick Johnson to come through and he did, showing why he is the leading candidate for the Pac-12 Player of the Year. The Wildcats had plenty of lapses in the game against Oregon State, including being dominated on the boards, second chance points, and bench scoring. It was a night in which the Wildcats seemed destined to lose and the team just found a way to win the game, like all great teams do.

    Sean Miller Quotable:

    "No team in the 30 games we have played has punished us on the glass like Oregon State did," Miller said. "I would put their physicality, their size, against any front line in the country. To be out-rebounded on the road and still win, we'll take it,"

    Wildcat Quotable:

    "We want to finish this season out as strong as possible," Johnson said. "We don't want to take an `L,' not play hard, because, I mean, that carries over to the next game. We have ourselves a little momentum going here."

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