Corvallis, OR – Oregon State (15-13, 7-9 Pac-12) tried to salvage their season as they faced the No. 3-ranked Arizona Wildcats (27-2, 14-2 Pac-12) tonight. The Beavers came up with one of their best efforts of the year, but ultimately fell short as Arizona escaped with a 73-68 win. Nick Johnson led the winners with 25 points. Roberto Nelson led the Beavers with 25 points.
Johnson came out strong and scored 12 of Arizona’s first 26 points as the Wildcats maintained a small single-digit lead through much of the first half. Johnson finished the half with 14 points and Gabe York added nine points on three three-pointers as Arizona went into halftime with a 36-33 lead. Oregon State battled the Wildcats and held a 20-18 lead on the boards. Nelson led the Beavers with 13 points at the break with Devon Collier adding seven points and six rebounds.
The Beavers came out strong in the second half with a Nelson basket tying the game at 40 at the 17-minute mark. Two three-pointers from freshman Hallice Cooke gave the Beavers a 46-44 lead. After Arizona scored seven points in a row to take a 58-51 lead, the Beavers came right back with seven of their own to tie the game at 58. The game was still tied at 64 with four minutes left when Rondae Hollis-Jefferson (13 points, six rebounds) scored inside and then the Wildcats made three foul shots to take a five-point lead. Arizona played suffocating defense late which led to a Hollis-Jefferson steal and two more converted foul shots. The Wildcats then held on for the hard fought win.
Oregon State out-rebounded the Wildcats 43-34 with Eric Moreland (12) and Collier (11, 14 points) leading the way. The difference in the game was Arizona’s defense forcing Oregon State into 17 turnovers with Arizona only committing eight.
After Brandon Ashley went down with his season ending injury Arizona experimented with 6’7″ freshman Hollis-Jefferson replacing him in the starting lineup. After several games it was decided that Hollis-Jefferson is a better fit at this point to play as a sixth man and provide energy off the bench. Shooter Gabe York joined the starters and has shown the ability to stretch defenses with his long-distance shooting capability. This has created more room for Aaron Gordon and Kaleb Tarczewski (12 points, nine rebounds) to operate inside and has made the Wildcats a more effective offensive team.
Obviously overall Ashley’s loss reduces Arizona’s effectiveness with his loss of production combined with an already limited bench getting stretched thinner. What was previously a 7-man rotation is now basically a 6-man rotation leaving the Wildcats in difficulty when anyone gets into foul trouble. Tonight Gordon drew his fourth foul with six minutes left. Tarczewski was called for his fourth at the 4:16 mark. That might be an issue as we head toward the tournament season.
Any international players interested in coming to the USA to play in college, prep school or high school can contact us here.
We are looking for interns and sales associates. If you’re interested contact us and forward your resume.