Tucson, AZ (SportsNetwork.com) - The sixth-ranked Arizona Wildcats put a lengthy homecourt winning streak on the line on Wednesday evening, as they take on the Oregon Ducks in a Pac-12 tilt at the McKale Center.
Sean Miller's Wildcats are sporting the second-longest active homecourt winning streak in the nation, now sitting at 32 games. Arizona has won four straight games overall and six of its last seven to move to 18-2 on the season. With Saturday's 73-50 rout of California in Berkeley, the Wildcats moved to 6-1 in conference play, good for a first-place tie with Utah.
Dana Altman's Ducks enter this contest off one of their best performances of the season, as lethal shooting led to a rather easy 82-64 whipping of UCLA over the weekend. The victory was the second straight for Oregon, which is now 14-6 overall and 4-3 in the Pac-12.
These two teams met just a couple of weeks ago in Eugene, with the visiting Wildcats making light work of the Ducks in a lopsided 80-62 decision. With the win, Arizona improved to 47-26 all-time against Oregon. The 'Cats are a solid 27-8 against the Ducks in Tucson.
The Ducks could do no wrong in their showdown with the Bruins over the weekend, as they set a Matthew Knight Arena record for 3-point accuracy (.692), while converting a scorching .623 from the floor overall (season- best). Almost everyone got involved in the scoring onslaught, including five Ducks who finished in double figures. Joseph Young led the charge with 16 points, followed closely by Dwayne Benjamin and his 15. Elgin Cook tacked on 11 points, while Ahmaad Rorie and Jalil Abdul-Bassit checked in with 10 points apiece.
While the team's efficiency was a little out of the ordinary, Oregon has been an offensive force by nature. The Ducks come in as the Pac-12's top scoring team at a hefty 77.8 ppg. Randle is the go-to-guy at the offensive end, ranking second in the Pac-12 in scoring at an impressive 19.3 ppg. Young leads the conference in 3-pointers made (2.7 per game), and is responsible for over a third of Oregon's 3-pointers to date (54-of-155). Far more than a one-trick pony, Young is also tops on the team in assists (70), while finding time to grab just under five boards per game (4.8). Scoring help comes in the form of Dillon Brooks and Cook, who chime in with 13.2 and 11.9 ppg, respectively.
Arizona has the ability to win games at either end of the floor, as evidenced by the team's +15.5 scoring margin (second in the Pac-12). The Wildcats aren't far behind the Ducks in terms of scoring potential, ranking second in the league at 75.1 ppg. However, the defensive effort has been strong as well, with UA ranking third in scoring defense (59.5 ppg) and first in rebounding margin (+7.1). Freshman forward Stanley Johnson has made an immediate impact in Tucson and currently leads the team in both scoring (15.0 ppg) and rebounding (7.0 rpg). Frontcourt depth comes in the form of Brandon Ashley (11.2 ppg, 5.3 rpg) and Rondae Hollis-Jefferson (10.9 ppg, 6.4 rpg). Point guard T.J. McConnell (9.0 ppg) can score, but is at his best when doling out to his teammates (third in the conference at 5.9 apg).
The Wildcats held a 10-point lead in the first half and that ballooned to 24 points in the second half, as Arizona cruised to victory over the helpless Golden Bears. Arizona shot 49 percent from the floor and outscored California 23-1 at the free-throw line in the game. Johnson led the way again and just missed a double-double, finishing with 18 points and nine rebounds. Dusan Ristic came off the bench to tally 12 points, while center Kaleb Tarczewski finished with 10.