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MBB: Double Whammy

Oregon loses its first game at home, and loses Barthelemy to injury

Syndication: The Register Guard Ben Lonergan/The Register-Guard / USA TODAY NETWORK

After Arizona inexplicably lost to Oregon State on Thursday, it looked like a foregone conclusion that the Ducks would handle the Cats rather easily at Matthew Knight Arena before a packed house and national television audience Saturday afternoon.

Hold that thought.

Arizona came to play, and stayed in control wire to wire in an 87-78 victory that had Oregon’s dominant defense from Thursday looking downright porous.

Falling behind 17-5 to begin the game, the Ducks were never really able to make it over the hump, although a 70-foot buzzer beater before halftime from Jermaine Couisnard helped fuel some hope as they trailed only 45-38 at the break.

It was more of the same in the second half as Arizona continued its offensive onslaught, led by Caleb Love. For the game the Cats shot 49 percent from the floor and 52 percent from beyond the arc.

To make matters worse the Ducks lost Keeshawn Barthelemy to an ankle injury that led to him being carried off the court. Head Coach Dana Altman said that he was being further evaluated but it certainly seems as though Barthelemy, a spark plug for Oregon’s second unit, will be out indefinitely.

Injuries have been an issue for Oregon all year. Nate Bittle only just got back into his starting role this weekend and freshman forward Mookie Cook missed both games with a foot injury.

With Barthelemy sidelined, more will be needed from Brendan Rigsby, who has been extremely up-and-down this season and wasn’t much of a factor Saturday.

The Ducks will next head down to Southern California to face the LA schools and the next week will return home to host the Washington schools.