Arizona posted a 15-rebound edge and allowed no second-chance
points as it cruised to a 76-54 victory over Oregon State at McKale
Center on Sunday.
"That's who we are," Miller said of the work on the glass. "Oregon
State, as big and physical as they are, they are the best team in
our conference for not allowing their opponents to get second shots.
... I really feel good about our team's overall performance today."
Arizona grabbed 15 offensive rebounds. Oregon State managed four.
"When we would go through our plays, we would only get one crack at
it," said Oregon State center Angus Brandt, who scored a team-high
14 points. "We've been a team that has rebounded offensively really
well this year, and we've gotten used to taking multiple shots.
Arizona is a great team."
The Wildcats (23-1, 10-1 Pac-12) were led by freshman forward Aaron
Gordon, who scored a team-high 17 points in what was arguably his
most complete offensive performance of the season. He shot 11-of-42
from the field in the previous four games. Gordon made eight of 12
Known for his highlight-worthy dunks, Gordon scored in a variety of
ways against Oregon State — a 3-pointer, a tip-in, a driving
left-handed layup, a jump hook and a drive in which he went behind
the back with his dribble, split two defenders and finished with a
That is the kind of offense Arizona is seeking in the absence of
starting forward Brandon Ashley, who suffered a season-ending foot
injury on Feb. 1.
"He's finding his way," Miller said of Gordon, who moved from small
forward to power forward after Ashley's injury. "Sometimes, teams
are trying to choose not to guard him. As a coach, I need to help
him get the ball in a good position so when they choose not to
(guard him), he can really punish them.
"We did that better tonight. When he gets the ball in and around the
key area, good luck. It's tough not to play him."
Oregon State (13-10, 5-6) got only 10 points from guard Roberto
Nelson, the Pac-12's leading scorer at 22.0 points per game. He hit
three of 12 shots, missing all three of his attempts from behind the
arc. It was his second-lowest scoring output of the season, behind a
four-point effort against Towson when he was ejected after eight
Arizona guard Nick Johnson, a defensive ace, had the primary
assignment on Nelson, but the Wildcats called it a collective
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"The bigs did a great job for us," Wildcats point guard T.J.
McConnell said. "They helped when we got screened on the ball. It
was a team effort on him, and I think we did a good job."
Arizona led by 10 at halftime and was up by at least 15 for most of
the final 10 minutes. The Wildcats got 16 points from forward Rondae
Hollis-Jefferson and 11 from McConnell, who added six assists and
six rebounds. Johnson scored 10 points.
Oregon State forward Devon Collier also scored 10.
Arizona, with seven conference games remaining, has a 2 1/2-game
lead on second-place UCLA (7-3). Five of the Wildcats' remaining
regular-season games are on the road.
Oregon State, which entered the game with a .500 or better record in
league play through 10 games for just the second time since 1993,
led for almost all of the first eight minutes until Hollis-Jefferson
dunked for a 12-11 Arizona edge with 11:55 to go.
Arizona shed its recent shooting woes. The Wildcats, who shot 37
percent from the field in the past four games, made 50 percent (29
of 58) against Oregon State.
"We couldn't stop them," said Oregon State coach Craig Robinson,
whose team has lost five of six conference road games. "We have been
holding guys in the high 30s, low 40s for shooting percentages. They
shot 50 percent. This is a good team here. It's fun to watch when
you aren't getting beat by them."
NOTES: The men's game was the back end of a doubleheader at McKale
Center. Earlier, the Arizona women's team upset No. 11 Arizona State
68-49. ... G Roberto Nelson is on pace to become the first Oregon
State player to lead the conference in scoring since Gary Payton in
1990. ... Arizona freshman G Elliott Pitts was the second player off
the bench for the second consecutive game. He has moved ahead of
senior G Jordin Mayes in the rotation. Mayes scored nine points in
five minutes, while Pitts finished scoreless in 14 minutes. ...
Arizona F Aaron Gordon hit a 3-pointer in the first half. It was his
first made 3-point attempt since Dec. 19. He had missed eight
attempts since then. ... Gordon went 0-for-1 from the free throw
line to drop his season percentage to .419 (46 of 110).
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