After winning their rivalry game against Oregon State, the Ducks turned their attention to one of the premier teams in the conference in Arizona. The Wildcats jumped out on the Ducks early and kept them at bay as Oregon never held a led as Arizona got their first win in Matthew Knight Arena 80-62, Thursday night.
Joseph Young was held to 12 points on 4-17 shooting and Jordan Bell added 11 while Arizona had 5 players in double figures, led by T.J. McConnell’s 21. The Ducks got hammered on the boards 40-27 and made just 4 of 20 from behind the arc. The Ducks also had more turnovers (13) than assists (7). Oregon was also just 20% from three going 4 of 20, making two in each half.
“We have a lot of guys who are just a little too optimistic and their shooting percentages don’t back up the shots they’re taking. We have to do a better job of defining what shots we are comfortable with them taking,” said head coach Dana Altman.
The Wildcats jumped out to a 12-2 lead on Oregon and the Ducks had to try and fight back throughout the game. The Ducks did chip away and cut the deficit to 2, but a time out from Arizona quickly saw that lead jump right back up to 10 as Arizona scored the next 8 points.
The Ducks would get no closer as they allowed Arizona to pull away and stretch the lead to double digits in the first six minutes of the second half. Missed three pointers and turnovers did the Ducks in as the lead ballooned to as much as 18 down the stretch for Arizona.
Altman was complimentary of the Wildcats’ defensive effort which held Oregon under 40% from the field and seemed to frustrate the Ducks with their physicality.
“We came in leading the conference in assists and we only got 7 tonight. We just didn’t move the ball. Their defense had a lot to do with that. They’re the best defensive team we have faced and probably will face all year,” said Altman.
The Ducks didn’t seem ready for the big stage against a top 10 team and looked downright awful at times in this game. Dwayne Benjamin airballed a three, so did Joseph Young. Jordan Bell seemed more interested in celebrating a potential momentum shifting dunk to get back defensively and prevent Arizona from getting back offensively and trying to dunk the ball themselves.
Oregon has to have a short memory for this game as they have a quick turnaround, facing Arizona State Saturday at 2 PM. The Sun Devils fell to Oregon State in Corvallis 55-47.
Wildcats Win For First Time in Matthew Knight
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