The Ducks took a 60-55 lead on a Richard Amardi jumper with 3:17 remaining, but wouldn't score again until it was too late. Included in the scoreless drought was a shot-clock violation and a heavily-contest three-point attempt by Joseph Young, that drew no glass.
The loss sums up the season about right. Oregon has the talent to play with the upper-echelon teams in the league, but lacks the mindset to close out wins.
Oregon is now 3-7 in Pac-12 play.
The Ducks out-rebounded the Wildcats, who are one of the nation's best on the boards and outshot them, but couldn't close out the game, committing four turnovers in the final five minutes.
Joseph Young was held scoreless in the first half, but had 14 in the second. Among the strong finish were eight to open the half and give Oregon a 46-40 lead.
They would not trail again until the final 1:33 of the game.
The Ducks missed three straight free throws down four with under a minute left.
Oregon will try for the road split Saturday against Arizona State. The game tips at 2 p.m.