Arizona clobbers Oregon in final home game of season

Mar 2, 2024, 2:31 PM | Updated: 5:14 pm

Arizona's Caleb Love celebrates a dunk...

Caleb Love #2 of the Arizona Wildcats reacts after dunking during the second half against the Oregon Ducks at McKale Center on March 02, 2024 in Tucson, Arizona. (Photo by Chris Coduto/Getty Images)

(Photo by Chris Coduto/Getty Images)

TUCSON (AP) — Arizona honored its five seniors in a pregame ceremony and inducted Kenny Lofton into its ring of honor at halftime.

The Wildcats spent the rest of the afternoon stomping Ducks.

Caleb Love scored 22 points, Oumar Ballo had his ninth straight double-double and No. 6 Arizona closed out the Pac-12 era at McKale Center with a 103-83 beatdown of Oregon on Saturday.

“We talked about not being emotional, about just coming out staying locked in and doing our jobs,” Arizona coach Tommy Lloyd said. “There’s time to get sentimental and that’s after.”

After honoring the seniors, the Wildcats (23-6, 14-4) rode the good vibes to a dominating start against the Ducks (19-10, 11-7).

Keyed by Love and then Kylan Boswell, Arizona had a 17-point lead by the midpoint of the first half and didn’t let off the gas. The Wildcats shot 61% overall, went 14 for 25 from 3 and had 27 assists on 39 made field goals to finish the season 15-1 at home.

Ballo had 11 points and 12 rebounds for the longest double-double streak at Arizona since Al Fleming had 10 straight during the 1974-75 season. Pelle Larsson had 22 points and fellow senior Keshad Johnson scored 21.

“Everybody gave their all and that’s just the results of it,” Johnson said.

Jermaine Couisnard scored 33 of his 39 points in the second half and Oregon shot 52% in its final Pac-12 road game. The output was nowhere near good enough against an Arizona team hitting on all offensive cylinders at home.

“We got kicked. We didn’t guard. A lot of mistakes — a lot of mistakes,” Oregon coach Dana Altman said on the postgame radio show. “Really disappointed. We didn’t compete like I wanted us to.”

Love had a massive game in the teams’ first meeting, tying the Matthew Knight Arena record with 36 points in Arizona’s 87-78 win.

The North Carolina transfer got off to a stellar start to cap off the final home game of his lone season in the desert.

Love started off with a pair of floaters in the lane and had seven straight points during an early 12-2 Arizona run. Boswell took it from there, scoring seven straight points during a 12-0 run that put the Wildcats up 29-12. Boswell added a 3 from near the “A” logo and Love brought the crowd to its feet with an alley-oop to Johnson that put Arizona up 48-25.

Boswell set his career high with 19 points by halftime after coming off the bench — senior Grant Weitman started — Love added 12 and the Wildcats hit 20 of 31 shots — 8 for 11 from 3 — to lead 51-30.

“Kylan is the youngest on the team, but his ceiling is so high,” Johnson said.

Oregon was far better offensively to start the second half, hitting nine of 10 shots at one point. The Ducks shot 22 of 33 in the second half, yet couldn’t get the lead under 15.

Love had the exclamation point to the final home game revelry with a tomahawk dunk that put the Wildcats up 94-67.

“If somebody told me before the game that you’re going to shoot 52% from the field and 30% from 3, score 83 points, I would have felt pretty good,” Altman said. “But they beat us in every facet.”

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