No. 3 Arizona battles for hard-fought 84-81 win over Oregon
TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) Bennedict Mathurin scored 24 points, Kerr Krissa hit a crucial 3-pointer with about 1:30 remaining and No. 3 Arizona managed to beat Oregon 84-81 on Saturday night.
It was an entertaining, high-scoring game that featured 16 lead changes in front of a sold-out crowd at the McKale Center. Krissa's long 3-pointer with the shot clock winding down and 1:26 remaining in the game pushed Arizona ahead 79-76.
The Wildcats wouldn't trail again, hitting enough of their free throws to stave off Oregon's final charge. The Ducks had a chance to tie on their final possession but Will Richardson was called for traveling as time expired.
Azuolas Tubelis added 14 points and 7 rebounds for the Wildcats, and Christian Koloko had 10 points and eight rebounds.
Arizona (24-2, 14-1 Pac-12) has a 15-game winning streak at home dating to last season. The Wildcats also snapped a seven-game losing streak against the Ducks.
Richardson had 22 points for Oregon, which has lost three of its past four games, Quincy Guerrier added 21 points and made six 3-pointers. N'Faly Dante added 13 points and 15 rebounds.
It wasn't quite enough for the Ducks (17-10, 10-6), who were swept in Arizona after also losing to Arizona State on Thursday night.
Arizona took its first lead of the second half when Koloko made a jumper at the free-throw line for a 55-54 advantage. Krissa added a 3-pointer and Mathurin made a tough layup in the paint to push the lead to 60-54 and cap a 13-0 run.
Oregon had a terrific offensive start, making 13 of 21 shots to take a 32-20 lead midway through the first half. Arizona stormed back with a 10-0 run as the shooting excellence continued for both teams.
The Ducks had a 47-45 halftime lead and the Wildcats trailed despite shooting nearly 71% before the break. Richardson led Oregon with 16 points while Mathurin had 11 for the Arizona.
Oregon: Not many teams can match Arizona's offensive pace but Oregon looked just fine trading buckets with the Wildcats. The Ducks are going through a tough stretch but certainly have the talent to challenge anyone when the Pac-12 tournament comes.
Arizona: The Wildcats shook off Oregon's hot shooting and won their eighth straight game. It's a deep team that can get its offense from a lot of places. Many pundits believe Mathurin is going to be a very good NBA player and Saturday's game certainly showed that talent.
Oregon: Hosts UCLA on Thursday night.
Arizona: At Utah on Thursday night.
- Both teams opened on fire from the floors as they combined to shoot 11 of 13 going into the game's first media timeout.
- Arizona collected six assists on its first seven made field goals of the game before tallying 13 dimes on 17 makes at halftime.
- Bennedict Mathurin score eight of his team's first 14 points.
- Oregon took a 32-20 lead with 9:31 remaining in the first half, which was answered by a 17-5 run by Arizona over the next 4:36.
- The Wildcats shot 70.8 percent from the field in the first half, which set a new season high by surpassing Arizona's 69 percent effort in the second half against Washington. It marked Arizona's best shooting half since shooting 78.3 percent (18 of 23) in the first half of its win over Northern Arizona on Dec. 7, 2020.
- At halftime of Saturday's game versus Oregon, the Wildcats were shooting 60 percent from the floor (69 of 114) in their last four halves.
- Mathurin eclipsed the 20-point mark for the 10th time this season and for the fourth consecutive game.
- Saturday's three-point win over Oregon snapped the Cats' 7-game losing streak against the Ducks.