Important numbers from Arizona's homestand against the Oregon schools
A homestand that started full of excitement after a 26-point win over Oregon State ended with heartbreak after Arizona fell apart in the last 3:31 of regulation and couldn’t pull out a win in overtime over Oregon.
Take a look at some of the most important numbers from the last two games.
Going into the Arizona-Oregon game, everyone knew how important the battle between Nico Mannion and Payton Pritchard would be and the 14,644 in attendance saw one of the best performances of the year from the Oregon point guard.
On Thursday night against Arizona State, Pritchard didn’t have one of his best games. He did have 18 points but also ended up fouling out and Oregon went on to lose by five.
Two nights later in Tucson, Pritchard had the best game of his career. He had seven points at the first media timeout, 20 at halftime and eventually finished with a career high 38 in one of the most impressive performances of the year.
“I’m gonna give Payton Pritchard tremendous credit,” head coach Sean Miller said. “That’s what college basketball used to be about. You’ve got a guy that’s played on four consecutive NCAA tournament teams. He’s the heart and soul of Oregon’s basketball team and he rolled in here tonight and he put 38 on the board, and it was easy. It wasn’t like he hit fadeaways and tough shots, it was an easy 38 … He’s the player of the year in this conference as far as I’m concerned.”
Everyone knows that Arizona had a six-point lead with about 1:30 left in Eugene that they let get away and ended up losing in overtime. But Saturday night the Wildcats had another six-point lead, this time with 3:31 remaining, and they ended up not scoring the last 211 seconds of regulation.
Pritchard for the Ducks made six straight free throws during that time, while Arizona had more free throw problems just like they did up in Oregon. In the last 3:31 Dylan Smith went 0-3, Mannion turned the ball over and Josh Green missed a pair of free throws with the game tied and 2.5 seconds left.
For a team that has been inconsistent throughout the entire year against Oregon and Oregon State, Arizona made 3s in each game. It was only the third and fourth time during conference play that the Wildcats have hit double-digit 3-pointers.
Losing games at home never seems to happen when you play at McKale Center, but going back to last season, this is now the eighth home loss in just two seasons. For an example of how much of a game changer Arizona’s home arena is, they only lost 10 home games from the 2011-12 season until 2017-18. There might not have been a more heartbreaking loss in any of those eight games than the one on Saturday night against Oregon. But it wasn’t for being inconsistent from three. The Wildcats went 10-23 while Oregon also made 10 3s.
In their game against OSU, Arizona also made 10 3s but limited the Beavers to only six makes on 27% 3-point shooting.
Arizona now sits in fifth place in the Pac-12, only a half game behind three teams and a full game back of ASU. This weekend, Arizona travels to the LA schools with USC sitting right behind them in the conference and UCLA now tied for second. The USC game is Thursday night while the UCLA game is Saturday. Both games are at 8 p.m.
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