Eugene, OR – A sellout crowd of 12,364 greeted the No. 3-ranked Arizona Wildcats (28-2, 15-2 Pac-12) as the Oregon Ducks (21-8, 9-8 Pac-12) looked for the upset to cement their NCAA Tournament bid. Oregon came through, going on a 9-0 run late in the game and went on to a 64-57 win. Jason Calliste hit several key second half shots and led the Ducks with 18 points. Aaron Gordon led Arizona with 21 points and eight rebounds.
The game figured to mean more for the Ducks with it being senior day with a sellout crowd and the potential tournament bid. The Wildcats already have the Pac-12 regular season crown clinched and are readying themselves for the Pac-12 Tournament this coming week.
Arizona came out strong with a 9-2 lead helped by a Nick Johnson (11 points) three-pointer before the Ducks got going on a Johnathan Loyd (16 points, three steals) steal and basket. The Wildcats pulled out to a 20-8 lead helped by two transition baskets by Johnson. Back-to-back three’s from Loyd and Joseph Young cut the lead to eight. Arizona maintained a five-to-seven point lead through much of the half but the Ducks cut it to two (31-29) at halftime as Calliste hit a three-pointer with two seconds remaining.
Arizona dominated the boards in the first half, out-rebounding the Ducks 21-13. Kaleb Tarczewski led the half in scoring with ten points, all inside or on foul shots. Gordon had eight. Loyd led Oregon with nine points. Arizona outshot Oregon 48.1 to 37.5 percent.
Mike Moser, coming off 54 points and 49 rebounds in his last three games, only had two points at the half, but tried to get the Ducks going in the second half. He scored on a baseline drive, then on a three-pointer to keep Oregon within two points at 36-34. Johnson and T.J McConnell each scored in transition to extend the Arizona lead to 44-36 with 11:43 left. The Ducks narrowed it to 44-42 on a Calliste three-pointer. They narrowed the lead to two points again at the 5:40 mark on a three-pointer by Young, Young (8 points) then scored in transition to tie the game at 50 with five minutes remaining.
Calliste then hit a contested jumper over Tarczewski, was fouled, made the FT and the Ducks had a 53-51 lead at the under four minute time out. Calliste hit another three on Oregon’s first possession after the time out, stretching the lead to five. Loyd followed with another three-pointer and the Ducks led 59-51 with 2:32 left to finish a nine-point Duck run. A Ben Carter block with under a minute left in the game as Arizona attempted to cut the lead to two sealed the game.
Moser ended the game with his fourth double-double in a row (10 points, 10 rebounds). Carter played well in his 13 minutes, scoring five points with four rebounds, two steals, two assists and the key block. Tarczewski was held to two second half points.
Oregon hit 10-of-19 three-pointers in the game including 7-of-12 in the second half. The Ducks hit the boards hard in the second half, out-rebounding the Wildcats 22-14. The Ducks have now won seven in a row as they head to the Pac-12 Tournament and have an NCAA bid sealed regardless of their play in Las Vegas.
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