The meat of the Pac-12 schedule features two games in a 3-day span almost every weekend, with not much time in between to regroup from the first contest and prepare for the second. Every team has to deal with it, and some do better than others.
Arizona hasn’t been one of them.
The ninth-ranked Wildcats followed up a strong first six minutes with possibly their worst 34 after that, losing 87-68 at Oregon on Saturday afternoon. It was their sixth straight loss at Matthew Knight Arena and second in a row on the tail end of a Pac-12 weekend, having lost by 13 at home to Washington State last Saturday.
The 19-point defeat was the largest of the Tommy Lloyd era.
A little more than 36 hours after shooting 52.5 percent and hitting 11 3s in a 12-point win at Oregon State, Arizona (15-3, 4-3 Pac-12) shot 37.5 percent and went 5 of 19 from 3 after a 4-of-6 start. The Wildcats shot 31.3 percent in the second half and missed 35 of 52 shots after leading 16-9 less than six minutes into the game.
Oregon, meanwhile, looked nothing like the team that lost by 17 to ASU on Thursday night. The Ducks (10-8, 4-3) shot 53.1 percent, their best in Pac-12 play, and a lineup change paid huge dividends as senior guard Jermaine Cousinard—playing in just his fourth game—had 27 points on 9-of-14 shooting including 6 of 9 from 3.
N’Faly Dante added 22 points and 10 rebounds as Oregon outboarded the UA 42-32 and outscored the Wildcats 40-30 in the paint.
Kylan Boswell led Arizona in scoring with a career-high 15 points, playing 23 minutes as Kerr Kriisa dealt with foul trouble and poor play overall all. Kriisa followed up his 13-point, 11-assist game at Oregon State by scoring nine points on 2-of-10 shooting, while Azuolas Tubelis had 14 points on 5-of-13 shooting, Courtney Ramey went for 12 and Oumar Ballo had 10.
Arizona trailed 43-37 at halftime, mostly because of a 26-12 rebounding disadvantage that saw Oregon pull down 11 offensive rebounds. Ramey hit two 3s in the first minute to tie it, but the Ducks then hit two of their own to start a 10-0 run to go up 53-43 with 16:29 left.
The Ducks’ lead got to 12 with 14:10 left and stayed in double digits the rest of the way and getting to 20 with 3:21 remaining.
Arizona built a 16-9 lead in the first six minutes thanks to three Ballo dunks, two Tubelis layups and a pair of Ramey 3-pointers. The Wildcats made 7 of their first 12 shots but only seven more the rest of the first half.
A 10-0 Oregon run gave it a 23-19 lead, and that spurt included a 3-pointer by Cousinard on a lob pass that was meant to be dunked by Dante but went in on a line drive.
Boswell hit two 3s and Kriisa made three free throws to put Arizona back in front 28-26 with 8:42 left in the first half, but it was outscored 17-9 the rest of the way until the break.
The UA returns home to take on USC on Thursday night before hosting No. 7 UCLA on Saturday afternoon.