Cats win in Eugene

Arizona relied on great rebounding and terrific defense to steal a win at Oregon 81-72. The Wildcats trailed by as many as 10 points in the second half, but forced the Ducks into a number of turnovers and pulled out their first win in Eugene in three years.

With Luke Walton on the bench with an ankle injury, fellow seniors Jason Gardner and Rick Anderson came up big for the Wildcats. Gardner scored 23 points and Anderson hit a clutch three to seal the win. Anderson added 15 points, while Hassan Adams and Isaiah Fox had 12 each.

The Wildcats closed the game with an 11-2 run, as the red hot Ducks finally went cold.

The Wildcats dominated Oregon on the boards. Arizona outrebounded Oregon 50-28. Other than an aggressive Robert Johnson, the Ducks could not do anything against the Wildcat big men. Johnson had six offensive rebounds in the first half, but none in the second. Dennis Latimore led the Wildcats with seven.

In the early going Arizona looked poised to erase the troubles they have had at McArthur Court. A Channing Frye alley-oop dunk started things off and a few minutes later Anderson added a dunk of his own to give the Wildcats a very early 10-5 lead.

Oregon kept pace with the Cats, then went on a run with Ridnour on the bench. With their starting point guard saddled with a pair of fouls, Andre Joseph hit back-to-back threes to lead the Ducks on a 13-2 run and a 27-22 lead.

The Ducks kept up the hot shooting from the outside. Despite good perimeter defense, Oregon kept extending the lead and actually led by as many as eight.

After the halftime break, Oregon stormed out of the gate and continued the hot outside shooting. A Luke Jackson three gave Oregon a 10-point lead at 54-44 just a few minutes into the second half. Oregon looked for the three at every opportunity and when they missed, Johnson seemed to always be there for a board.

Arizona tied the game with great defense that sparked the transition game, going on an 11-0 run. Gardner hit a pair of threes and Dennis Latimore continued his aggressive play on the boards. First Latimore followed a Gardner miss on the break and then a second offensive rebound led to a free throw. Iguodala capped the run with a breakaway slam that tied the game at 57.

The Cats turned up the defensive pressure and pulled away from there. The Cats took the lead in the midst of a 6-0 run. Dennis Latimore's follow gave Arizona their first lead 68-67. Joseph followed an Adams dunk with a three to tie the game for the final time at 70, but Gardner answered and the Cats cruised to the finish.


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