Arizona beat Oregon on Thursday night 70-57 at the McKale Center in Tucson. It was just another upward swing in this roller coaster season for the Cats. After losing both games in the Pacific Northwest to Washington and Washington State, the Cats rebounded by extending a 36-28 halftime lead into a 52-33 lead within the first 6:00 of the first half.
Derrick Williams scored 11 of his 20 points in the first 3 1/2 minutes of the second half and the game was seemingly out of reach for the Ducks at after that point. Williams was 8-10 from the floor, scoring 20 points and grabbing 6 rebounds. Nic Wise had 10 points and 4 rebounds with only 2 assists on the night. Lamont Jones, who has been coming on strong in the last week, had 11 points on 5-8 shooting and also had 6 rebounds.
I wonder how long this is going to go on? The Pac-10, obviously weak this year, continues to beat up on each other round after round and any night is anybody's game. Arizona missed their opportunity to break away from the Pac last week in Washington but has a chance to try to get on a roll again by beating Oregon State on Saturday.
Coach Miller thinks that the beginning of the 2nd half was the best basketball we have played all year:
"The way we played at the beginning of the second half really was as well as we've played all season. We did very well at converting from defense to offense. We were very unselfish. That run at the beginning of the second half was very exciting, and it was really fueled by our unselfishness on offense and our ability to get some good defensive stops. We consistently got better in the first half, but it was definitely that run in the first four to six minutes of the second half that set us apart."
Lamont Jones sure has been playing good as of late. I wonder what lit a fire under him to step up and get it done?
Next up: Arizona vs. Oregon State. McKale Center, 8:00 Eastern.
Quick Stat: Freshmen scored the first 32 of Arizona's 34 second half points.