No. 6 Arizona dismantles Oregon in 34-point victory
Arizona’s offense flowed, the floor spacing and crisp passing leading to open shots, most of those finding the bottom of the net.
The defense attacked every shot, every dribble, leaving the Pac-12’s highest-scoring team foundering.
When the Wildcats play like this, not many teams in the country are going to beat them.
Playing with a tenacity Oregon had no chance of matching, No. 6 Arizona put on an offensive show and was equally effective on the defensive end in a 90-56 rout over the Ducks Wednesday night.
"That shows just how lethal we can be," said Arizona point guard T.J. McConnell, who had 10 points and five assists. "That was one of our best games all year."
Arizona (19-2, 7-1 Pac-12) routed Oregon in the teams’ first meeting behind its defense. The Wildcats gave the Ducks fits at that end again, particularly over the game’s final 13 minutes, but added a dose of share-the-ball offense that made this rout even worse.
The Wildcats had their way with Oregon inside and out, building a 15-point lead in the first half and crushing the Ducks’ hopes with a big run midway through the second to win their 33rd straight home game.
Gabe York provided the big lift during the second-half run and finished with 16 points. Brandon Ashley scored 13 and freshman Stanley Johnson added 12 while showing off his all-around game, finishing with six rebounds and five assists.
Arizona shot 59 percent overall, had a 44-18 advantage in the paint and one turnover in the second half after nine in the first.
"When we take care of the ball and move the ball, a lot of good things can happen," Arizona coach Sean Miller said.
The Wildcats weren’t bad defensively, either.
Oregon (14-7, 4-4) hit its first three shots of the second half to cut the lead to 10, but collapsed under Arizona’s pressure, hitting one field goal while being outscored 34-10 over the final 12:56.
"It was a lack of organization that hurt us," Oregon coach Dana Altman said. "We needed to get in the right spots and we didn’t do a good job executing it. Arizona did a good job taking away some looks from us. We had a hard time getting shots tonight, that’s it."
Elgin Cook had 16 points and Joseph Young added 12 for Oregon.
Arizona handed the Ducks their worst loss of the season in the teams’ first meeting, limiting the Ducks to 4-of-20 from 3-point range in the 80-62 victory on Jan. 8 in Eugene.
The Wildcats were particularly effective against Young, holding him to 12 points on 4-of-15 shooting.
Oregon bounced back with its best offensive game the last time out, shooting 62 percent, including 9 of 13 from 3-point range in a rout of UCLA.
Young had a hard time getting untracked again, taking four first-half shots. Cook didn’t, scoring 13 points on 6-of-8 shooting.
It wasn’t close to good enough against the Wildcats and their bulldog of a point guard, McConnell.
In synch from the start, Arizona hit six of its first seven shots and barely slowed the pace, hitting 18 of 30 in the first half.
McConnell was the catalyst, though with his scoring even more than his distributing.
Attacking Oregon’s defense whenever he saw an opening, McConnell hit all five of his shots in the first half and scored 10 points, with three assists. The Wildcats had a few careless turnovers from trying to force passes through traffic, but still managed to build a 42-27 halftime lead.
Oregon tried to shoot its way back, making seven of its first eight shots and going on an 8-0 run to cut Arizona’s lead to 56-46.
York put an end to the run and the Ducks’ hopes, hitting a pair of 3-pointers and turning a steal into a three-point play during a 14-0 run that pushed the lead to 19.
"I’m really disappointed," Altman said. "We got off to a decent start, but fundamentally we weren’t very good tonight. Our execution offensively was poor and defensively we just couldn’t get any stops."
Oregon: The Ducks are 1-5 away from Eugene this season. … Young was 4 for 9 from the floor after going 7 for 27 his previous two games against Arizona.
Arizona: The Wildcats outscored Oregon 33-13 in bench points and had a 34-30 advantage rebounding.
Oregon plays at Arizona State on Friday.
Arizona hosts Oregon State Friday.