Ninth-ranked Arizona aims to complete a clean sweep through its most recent visit to the Pacific Northwest on Saturday when it visits Pac-12 rival Oregon at Eugene, Ore.
The Wildcats (15-2, 4-2 Pac-12) responded to seeing their 28-game home winning streak come to a halt on Saturday when they earned an 86-74 victory at Oregon State five nights later.
Azuolas Tubelis recorded his third straight double-double Thursday by collecting 25 points and 10 rebounds.
“He’s had a great year,” Arizona coach Tommy Lloyd said of the 6-foot-11 junior forward, who averages a Pac-12-leading 20.8 points per game and a conference-high-tying 9.2 rebounds. He shares the rebounding lead with teammate Oumar Ballo.
“(Tubelis has) had a great career,” Lloyd said. “He’s a really good player and he has a knack for putting the ball in the basket (inside).”
Tubelis totaled 14 points and seven rebounds in the Wildcats’ 84-81 win over the Ducks last season. Kerr Kriisa drained a crucial 3-pointer with 1:29 remaining in the second half to seal the victory and snap a seven-game skid in the series between the teams.
Kriisa joined Tubelis and Ballo in posting a double-double for Arizona on Thursday. Kriisa contributed 13 points and 11 assists while Ballo recorded 15 points and 14 boards while showing no issues related to his recent illness.
Kriisa, who is averaging a Pac-12-best 6.0 assists this season, joined teammate Courtney Ramey in making three 3-pointers against Oregon State. The Wildcats drained 11 of 29 shots (37.9 percent) from beyond the arc on Thursday after sinking just 21.3 percent of their attempts (26 of 122) in their first five conference games.
Arizona also welcomed the sight of its offense as a whole. The Wildcats’ four lowest-scoring games of the season have come against Pac-12 foes.
Oregon (9-8, 3-3) has answered a stretch of winning five of six games by losing three of its last five.
Will Richardson scored 16 points and N’Faly Dante added 14 points and eight rebounds for the Ducks in their 90-73 setback to Arizona State on Thursday. Oregon fell behind by as many as 29 points near the midpoint of the second half before making a modest run with the game out of hand.
“We got beat in every facet of the game,” Ducks coach Dana Altman said. “So, really disappointed obviously. I know our fans are; they should be. That’s not what you expect from our ball team, and our program. Very concerning.”
So much so, in fact, that Altman said he’s considering shaking up his starting lineup.
“We’ve gotta try some different things. We can’t keep doing the same thing,” Altman said. “We’re going to have to change things up and really make guys more accountable for their minutes.”
Richardson boasts team-leading averages in points (14.7), assists (5.3) and steals (1.8) for Oregon, while Dante has contributed a team-best 7.1 rebounds.
Richardson scored 22 points and Dante added 13 points and 15 rebounds in last season’s meeting with the Wildcats.
–Field Level Media