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Oregon can't upset Arizona this time

Oregon was out rebounded 40-27 Thursday night as they lost to the visiting Wildcats.

Godofredo Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Eugene – Jordan Bell tied the single-season blocks record Thursday night, but it wasn’t enough to stop the No. 7 Wildcats. Joseph Young struggled and scored 12 points while shooting 4-15. The Wildcats dominated the inside and shot over 49 percent while beating the Ducks 80-62.

"The physicality of the game got to us," said head coach Dana Altman. "We got out rebounded terribly; their athleticism really hurt us there. We got out of whack, we had a lot of bad offensive possessions."

The Ducks dug themselves a hole early on because of poor rebounding. Within the first five minutes the Ducks were down 15-4. But like the Ducks have done all year they battled back after Elgin Cook hit the spin cycle on an Arizona defender and cut the Wildcats lead to 21-15. The Ducks couldn’t defend the paint in the first half and it wasn’t just rebounds that hurt Oregon. The Wildcats got a lot of close looks at the rim and shot over 48 percent in the first half, including 20 points in the paint.

The Wildcats continued to build a lead over Oregon, but the Ducks freshmen kept them in the game. Benson scored six points in a row for Oregon, including three free throws after he was fouled on a three point attempt, and Brooks closed Oregon's deficit to three points after he was fouled on a made layup. Arizona had two players in foul trouble early in the first half; Gabe York picked up three fouls and Rondae Hollis-Jefferson had two.

The refs called the game very tight, three Arizona players had three fouls and Cook picked up his fourth within the first five minutes of the second half. Cook subbed out of the game to avoid fouling out and the Ducks started to lose control; a couple of possessions after Cook was subbed out Young received a technical foul for slamming the ball on the ground. The Ducks weren’t done fighting back, the play of the game, a dunk by Bell, kept Oregon and the crowd in the game. Young continued to get the crowd involved after he had a dunk on a fast break that cut Arizona’s lead to 10.

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p>Big slam for Bell! <a href="">#GoDucks</a> <a href="">#FlywithUs</a> <a href=""></a></p>&mdash; Oregon Basketball (@OregonMBB) <a href="">January 9, 2015</a></blockquote>

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<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p>Young with the steal and the dunk! <a href="">#FLYWITHUS</a> <a href=""></a></p>&mdash; Oregon Basketball (@OregonMBB) <a href="">January 9, 2015</a></blockquote>

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Cook fouled out with over eight minutes to play and it was too much for Oregon to overcome. The Ducks struggled with the long ball and were two of 13 from beyond the arc in the second half. Cook finished the game with six points and two rebounds, Bell finished with 11 points and five rebounds.

"We could never get, you know, that run going that we hoped for and that’s where they’re an experienced team," Altman said. "There were some looks in the second half that we could have got a run going. There were a number of times when we were on 10 and we could have got it to seven."

For Arizona T.J. McConnell finished with a game high 21 points and five rebounds. Kaleb Tarczewski finished with 11 points and 10 rebounds and Stanley Johnson contributed 14 points.

Oregon will host Arizona State Saturday afternoon at 2 p.m. and can be seen on the Pac-12 Networks.

Side Note: Altman addressed the media after the game and brought up the lawsuit that was filed against him. Here is Altman’s statement:

"Before we get started I can tell you that I am aware of the lawsuit that was filed today and that our general counsel’s office will be handling all those questions. That’s all I can say on the matter, if there are any questions about the game [I’m] happy to talk about that."