Oregon Sinks Arizona, 78-69
March 9, 2008
EUGENE, Ore. (AP) - Tajuan Porter had 24 points and Bryce Taylor added 14 as Oregon beat Arizona 78-69 on Saturday night at McArthur Court.
The Ducks (18-12, 9-9 Pacific-10 Conference) finish the season tied for fifth in the conference and earned a first-round bye in the conference tournament.
Oregon's third consecutive win helped bolster its chances for a return to the NCAA Tournament, where the Ducks reached the final eight last season.
Arizona (18-13, 8-10), hoping to reach the NCAA Tournament for the 24th consecutive season, finishes in seventh place in the Pac-10.
It is the first time the Wildcats have finished with fewer than 11 Pac-10 wins since going 8-10 in 1983-84, which was Lute Olson's first season as coach. Olson is on a personal leave of absence this season.
Arizona cut its deficit to 70-65 with three-minutes left, but Maarty Leunen followed with a 3-pointer to start an 8-2 Oregon run to end the game and seal the win.
Leunen and Malik Hairston each had 12 points and Joevan Catron had 10 points and 12 rebounds for the Ducks.
Jerryd Bayless had 19 points and Chase Budinger had 16 for Arizona.
With Oregon trailing 46-42 early in the second half, Porter made three consecutive 3-pointers to ignite an 18-4 Ducks run. Hairston capped the run with a 3-pointer to put Oregon ahead 60-50 with 9:10 to play.
Porter had 11 points in the run, all in a span of 2:32. Oregon, feeding off the energy from its crowd in its home finale, led 7-2 early.
Arizona later went on a 16-6 run to take a 22-17 lead, capped by a three-point play by Nic Wise with 9:06 left in the first half.
Bayless, playing with five stitches under his right eye from a collision suffered Thursday, had 10 points in the first half.
Bayless, who entered as the Wildcats' leading scorer with 20.3 points per game, didn't play in Arizona's 84-74 loss to Oregon on Jan. 5.
Porter had 10 points in the first half, including a 3-pointer with six seconds remaining to bring Oregon within 38-35 at halftime.
The Ducks outrebounded the Wildcats 21-12 in the first half.
Oregon will open the Pac-10 tournament as the sixth seed and play No. 3 seed Washington State in the quarterfinals on Thursday. Arizona, the seventh seed, will play No. 10 seed Oregon State in the first round on Wednesday.