Devonaire Doutrive had one thing on his mind as Justin Coleman released a shot in the game’s final seconds.
“Just get the basketball.”
It turns out he would do a lot more than that.
Doutrive darted in from the 3-point to collect Coleman’s shot after it clanked off the front iron and flipped it in for the game-winning basket, before being engulfed by a sea of jubilant teammates.
Devonaire Doutrive comes up clutch as Arizona beats Oregon State at the buzzer in Corvallis. Heck of a finish. pic.twitter.com/gIwMSmzmlk— Ryan Kelapire (@RKelapire) March 1, 2019
It was a gutsy win for the Wildcats, who lost Chase Jeter to a left knee injury midway through the second half and Brandon Williams and Ryan Luther to foul trouble in the last few minutes of regulation.
“The biggest of the year because it really meant something,” Doutrive said. “I just came in and did my role. Coach told me to get the rebound after the shot goes up and that’s what I did.”
UA (17-12, 8-8) has now won three straight, seemingly catching fire as the Pac-12 Tournament approaches, though Jeter’s status will be worth monitoring moving forward.
The big man tweaked his left knee while getting tangled up with a driving Tres Tinkle, the same player who undercut Jeter in January, causing him to take a hard fall and miss two games with back spasms.
Jeter returned around the eight-minute mark with a heavy brace strapped to his knee, but was quickly removed after experiencing some discomfort.
Yet, Arizona did not blink in the face of adversity. As Sean Miller said earlier in the week, they’re used to it, having dealt with injuries and off-the-court issues all season.
The short-handed Wildcats used a team effort to outlast Oregon State’s Big 3 — Tinkle and the Thompson brothers — which combined for 59 points.
Brandon Randolph poured in 15 points, his highest point total since Jan. 31, making a couple big shots down the stretch. Coleman and Ira Lee each finished with 10, as the Wildcats shot 50 percent from the field and 8 for 17 from 3.
After Oregon State took a five-point lead with 4:43 left, Luther buried a triple to bring UA within one, then Doutrive and Randolph drove for back-to-back buckets to give the Wildcats a 70-68 lead with 2:10 left.
Tinkle, who had 24 points, made two free throws to knot it at 70, then Stephen Thompson Jr., who finished with 17, made a layup to tie it at 72 with 24 seconds left after Randolph had given UA the lead.
Coleman let the clock wind down before forcing up a tough, off-balanced shot that was well short. But Doutrive, doing what he does best, turned a broken play into the most memorable moment of a trying season.
“Devonaire is probably our best offensive rebounder statistically. It’s really how he established a role a long, long time ago where he would come in the game and make things happen like that,” Miller said. “But he made more plays than just the game-winning offensive rebound. He had a great drive, played with a lot of confidence.”
Doutrive scored all nine of his points in the second half and Arizona needed every bit of that outburst as Williams was cooled by foul trouble.
Williams scored eight first-half points, but picked up his third foul with three seconds left in the first half and fouled out with 3:58 left in regulation, only finishing with 10.
“That’s what you hope with young players,” Miller said of Doutrive. “That they keep working and at some point it really clicks and they can have that success.”