EUGENE, Ore. — Arizona made sure of a win on its third attempt at Matthew Knight Arena, building an early lead and pulling away to beat Oregon 80-62 in a Pac-12 game Thursday night.
The seventh-ranked Wildcats (14-1, 2-0 Pac-12) never trailed against the Ducks (11-4, 1-1), who in the previous two seasons upset a ranked Arizona team at the 4-year-old arena. The Wildcats didn’t play at the facility in its first two seasons of use.
Guard T.J. McConnell led Arizona with 21 points, and four other Wildcats also scored in double figures, including center Kaleb Tarczewski with a double-double of 11 points and 10 rebounds.
Guard Joe Young led the Ducks with 12 points, but the Wildcats hounded Oregon’s top scorer into 4-of-15 shooting from the field.
Arizona rebuffed several rallies by the Ducks and started to pull away for good early in the second half with a 7-0 spurt, increasing the lead to 50-37. The last four points in that mini-run came on free throws on the same possession, two by forward Rondae Hollis-Jefferson when he was fouled and two by guard Gabe York after a technical called on Young.
Fouls kept mounting for the Ducks, and the Wildcats converted free throws, making 20 of their 26 attempts in the second half and finishing with 24 made free throws to Oregon’s 18. Wildcats freshman forward Stanley Johnson made eight of his 10 free throws in scoring 14 points.
Arizona scored the game’s first eight points, and that early spurt allowed the Wildcats to hold the lead right up to a 39-34 halftime advantage.
Oregon had immediate problems matching up with Arizona’s size, and the 7-foot Tarczewski scored 10 points in the opening 20 minutes on 5-of-6 shooting from the field. He also had seven rebounds in the first half, two at the offensive end.
After the Wildcats upped their lead to 17-6, Oregon began fighting back and a 3-pointer by freshman guard Casey Benson drew the Ducks within 25-23 with six minutes left in the half. Arizona answered with a run of eight consecutive points, helped by two Oregon turnovers, to restore its lead.
The Wildcats finished the game with 15 second-chance points and a 40-27 rebounding edge.
NOTES: Oregon added 6-foot-10 freshman F Roman Sorkin to the roster. A native of Belarus, the 18-year-old Sorkin is immediately eligible after playing for the Israeli junior national team the past two years. … Arizona has been in the Top 25 for 49 consecutive weeks, including the past 29 in the Top 10. … Oregon senior G Joe Young is one of three players nationally averaging at least 20 points, five rebounds and four assists.
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