Published January 13, 2015
The fourth-ranked Arizona Wildcats will attempt to salvage something from their current trip to the Pacific Northwest, as they take on the Oregon State Beavers in a Pac-12 tilt in Corvallis on Saturday.
Sean Miller's Wildcats were knocked from the ranks of the unbeaten on Thursday, dropping their first game of the season with a 70-66 loss at Oregon. The setback halted a 14-game win streak the team opened the season with and dropped Arizona to 2-1 in Pac-12 play.
Craig Robinson's Beavers are still in search of their first league win. The team has dropped back-to-back games to Oregon (79-66) and most recently Arizona State (72-62) to fall to 0-2 in-conference and 10-5 overall. Three of OSU's five losses on the year have come at Gill Coliseum.
Arizona owns a 55-20 advantage in the all-time series with Oregon State and has won four straight meetings, including a 72-61 victory in the semifinals of last year's Pac-12 Tournament.
The Wildcats opened the game with an 11-0 run, but slowly let the game slip away, falling by four points to the Ducks on Thursday. Oregon went on to build up its own 14-point lead, before Arizona made things a little more respectable down the stretch. The loss spoiled a strong offensive performance by Mark Lyons, who led all scorers with 21 points. Solomon Hill added 16 points, while Nick Johnson checked in with 12 in the loss.
Arizona has done a much better job putting opponents away this year with stingy defensive play. The Wildcats come into this contest allowing just 61.3 ppg, on a mere .403 shooting. UA has also thrived on the glass, with a +9.9 rebounding margin. Three of the team's five starters are averaging double figures, led by Lyons' 14.5 ppg. Hill is a close second at 13.5 ppg, while Johnson adds 12.2 ppg to the mix.
The Beavers have dropped both of their league affairs by double digits, a strange turn of events considering the team owns a +7.3 scoring margin and shoots an efficient .462 from the field. The scoring depth goes five deep, led by Roberto Nelson's 15.5 ppg. Devon Collier can fill up the basket as well with 14.7 ppg. Ahmad Starks pours in 12.8 ppg and is the team's resident sniper (.438 from behind the arc). Eric Moreland is a dominant force up front averaging 10.8 points and 11.1 rebounds per game. He gets help down low from Joe Burton (10.4 ppg. 6.0 rpg).
In the 10-point loss to Arizona State on Thursday, Collier and Starks were the only players to notch double-digits in the scoring column at 18 and 10 points, respectively. The team was outscored in the paint 40-28 as Moreland did not play in the game (suspension) and Burton was held scoreless.