Breakdown: Wildcats fall at home to Oregon

Jan 15, 2012, 1:08 AM | Updated: Jan 17, 2012, 4:39 pm

At home Arizona had a prime chance to make a statement and
get some
National recognition playing on CBS before, and during NFL
Playoff
action. The Wildcats did not disappoint delivering another
wild finish at
home against an Oregon school.

Thursday night, it was the Wildcats defeating Oregon State
in overtime
with some minor fisticuffs. Saturday afternoon the
Wildcats lost 59-57 to
Oregon on their home floor in a last-minute thriller.

It was just too much Olu Ashaolu to start the game. He was
all over the
court early with ten points in the first half scoring easy
lay-ups and wide
open threes. Ashaolu sparked the Ducks to an early lead in
the first half
and they did not let up closing the half on a 12-4 run to
take a 34-22
lead at the half.

The first half was one to forget for all of the Wildcats
as Jessie Perry,
Solomon Hill and Kyle Fogg combined to score six points on
3-7
shooting from the field. The overall poor play led to the
Wildcats being
down 12 points at the half.

When the second half began it was more of the same for the
Wildcats
letting the Ducks go on another run to take a commanding
41-24 lead
with under 17 minutes to go.

Credit the Ducks though for those two runs. Both were
sparked by the
very visual size advantage they had against the Wildcats.
Every play in
the paint or rebound seemed to be a struggle and a battle
for the
Wildcats. Tony Woods and Ashaolu were sound all game.

Just when most were about to count the Wildcats out, they
came roaring
back behind a 16-6 run with 12 points from Hill (16 points
7 rebounds)
for Arizona. He is not known as a deep ball shooter, but
Hill knocked
down three straight threes and capped off the run with a
three-point
play on a fast-break slam.

E.J. Singler (12 points, 7 assists) and the Ducks were not
going to
relinquish the lead that early though, with his ally-oop
to Ashaolu
followed by a pair of free-throws the Ducks lead 54-45
with just under
six minutes to go.

From that point on the Wildcats imposed their will behind
the freshman
backcourt of Josiah Turner (11 points) and Nick Johnson (7
points).
Those two ran wild, scoring 10 points between them to give
the Wildcats
their first lead since 2-0. The next few minutes were as
exciting as they
come in college basketball this season.

The Wildcats gave the lead back 57-59 after a Garrett Sim
three and a
Turner free-throw. With 26 seconds to go the Wildcats had
the ball with
a two point deficit. They ran a play to get Johnson open
in the right
corner for three, but Tony Woods came out of nowhere to
block it out of
bounds giving the Wildcats another chance with 19 seconds.
The ball
was swung around to Brendon Lavender, a 60% three-point
shooter on
the season, for a clean look he could not knock down on
the left wing.
After a battle for the rebound the ball was in Fogg’s
hands to win or tie.
Fogg (5 points) re-set the offense with seven seconds left
and attacked
the rim, turned back for a wide open eight foot fade-away
for the tie
that hit iron and fell into the hands of the Ducks for the
win.

It was a disappointing loss for the Wildcats, who are now
3-2 in
conference play and 12-6 on the season after the loss
dropping them to
sixth place in the Pac-12. The Wildcats got the split in
Southern
California and leave Tucson with another split heading out
to the road
again. The next two games are against the two newcomer
teams to the
conference that are off to surprisingly good starts, first
Utah on
Thursday and then in Colorado a week from today.

Penguin Air

Arizona Basketball

(AP Photo/Ralph Freso)...
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