McKale Center is one of the toughest venues in all of college basketball, and that proved to be the case for the Ducks on Wednesday as No. 6 Arizona walked all over the Ducks in a 90-56 win. Oregon's 56 points were the lowest in a game this year. Their previous low was when they scored 59 points in a win over Arizona State earlier this month.
Elgin Cook led the way in scoring for the Ducks with 16 points while Joe Young added 12 points. Dillon Brooks came in off the bench to score 11 points, but the rest of the team struggled with four other players combining for just 17 points.
For Arizona, the scoring was plentiful as all five starters hit double digits. Brandon Ashley led the Arizona starters with 13 points while Gabe York added 16 points off the bench, including a series of plays that sparked a 14-0 scoring run to put the game away in the second half.
The Ducks got off to a quick start as Jordan Bell came up with a steal, taking it down to the other end of the court for a thunderous slam dunk to kick things off.
Both sides kept the game going along at a fast tempo early on, each challenging the other to get back in transition on defense. Elgin Cook had six quick points as Arizona held a 10-8 lead at the first media timeout.
After a back-and-forth start to the game, the Wildcats went on a 12-3 run to take a 24-15 lead at the under-8 timeout. Oregon's offense went quiet during the stretch, missing seven straight baskets while Arizona built their lead to double digits.
Oregon can't buy a bucket right now. Multiple chances up close. Nothing. Arizona being sloppy with the ball and it's not costing them.— Tyson Alger (@tysonalger) January 29, 2015
Roman Sorkin checked into the game for the first time with about five and a half minutes left, but missed a rebound and was called for traveling. Then, after Sorkin missed a 3-pointer, Stanley Johnson hit his shot from beyond the arc, putting Arizona back up by double digits after Oregon had started to slowly chip away at the lead.
Elgin Cook had a couple big baskets for Oregon late in the half, hitting a three-pointer followed by a huge dunk on consecutive possessions, but the Ducks struggled defensively as Arizona was able to answer each time.
The half ended about as poorly as it could for the Ducks. After a missed three-pointer by Joe Young, T.J. McConnell pushed the ball coast-to-coast, coming up with an athletic layup that literally brought the crowd to its feet. Then, as Casey Benson came up with a turnover in the final seconds of the half, Benson turned the ball back over to Rondae Hollis-Jefferson who dunked it home, sending the crowd into a frenzy.
The Ducks came out hot to start the second half when Jalil Abdul-Bassit hit a pair of three-pointers as part of an 8-2 run for Oregon. Just like they had during the first half, the Wildcats responded right back with a 12-3 run of their own to wipe out Oregon's quick start and building their lead up to 18 points.
Oregon answered back with an 8-0 run to cut the Arizona lead back down to 10. But guess what happened next? Yep, you guessed it. Arizona answered right back as Gabe York came up big for the Wildcats with a three-pointer followed by a three-point lead to put the Wildcats back up by 16 points midway through the second half.
The Wildcats saw their opportunity to put the game away and capitalized. Just over midway through the second half, Gabe York took a no-look pass from T.J. McConnell and drained a three-pointer. A jumper by Hollis-Jefferson along with a three-point play from Stanley Johnson gave the Wildcats a 24 point lead. In a span of just over five minutes, Arizona had busted the game wide open with a 14-0 run. At this point, the fact that Bill Walton was on the call seemed to be the only thing salvaging the game.
I would be totally content with everyone clearing the court and just letting Bill Walton do what he wishes with this final 8+ minutes.— Alex Stimson (@AlexStimson) January 29, 2015
The last half of the game was simply a formality. Oregon just looked completely flat as the Wildcats walked all over them, outscoring the Ducks 34-10 after it looked like Oregon might stand a fighting chance. The Ducks looked like some community college that the Wildcats had scheduled just to shake off a little offseason rust. You knew it probably wasn't going to end well for the Ducks, but I think even a 34 point loss was worse than we all expected.
The Ducks have one more stop in the desert before coming back home, facing Arizona State on Friday. Earlier this month, the Ducks came out on top in a narrow 59-56 win over the Sun Devils at Matthew Knight Arena. Tip-off is set for 5:00 pm on Pac-12 Networks.