Arizona Basketball: Wildcats get swept by the Oregon schools

Arizona Basketball suffered a devastating loss to the Oregon State Beavers by 17 points and leave the state of Oregon 0-2.

Sweep. Not the type of sweep the Arizona Basketball team was looking for. After a heartbreaking loss to the Ducks in overtime, they lose to the Oregon State Beavers on the road, 82-65. The Wildcats could never build any momentum and late in the second half, they went on a scoring drought that was costly.

In the first half, the Wildcats came out sluggish and the Beavers took full advantage. After trailing as much as 6 points in the first half, they came back and took a two-point lead. That was the largest lead the Wildcats could build all night as they headed into the locker room at half tied at 31.

Both teams were shooting the same from the field, but the one category the Wildcats were trailing was rebounding 17-11, after 20 minutes of play. Zeke Nnaji was the leading scorer in the first half with 9 points and 5 rebounds. Nico Mannion had 5 points, 6 assists and no turnovers in the first half.

It was apparent through the Wildcats had a hard time handling the zone defense by the Beavers. Occasionally they went man, but the majority was a 2-3 zone, which they couldn’t really figure out. Because three-point shots weren’t really falling and they had a difficult time getting the ball in the paint, they going really build any momentum on offense.

As he has done in the past to the Wildcats Tres Tinkle was leading the scorer in the first half for the Beavers with 9 points, including 2-3 from three. He would finish as the leading scorer with 20 points.

In the second half, it went back and forth for the first 10 minutes, before the Beavers went on a run and the Wildcats went on a scoring drought. They were being out-hustled and out-played the last 10 minutes of the game. Miss jumpers and threes, turnovers, poor defensive executive and lack of rebounding led to the Wildcats demise.

At one point, late int he game, the Beaver fans started chanting “overrated” to  Mannion. In 28 minutes of play, he had 9 points, went 3-10 from the field and 1-4 from three, 2 rebounds, 9 assists, and 2 turnovers. I wouldn’t say that is overrated. Basketball is a team sport and it requires a team effort, which the Wildcats did not have tonight.

To put into context how bad this one hurts. Heading into this one, the Wildcats had won 14-15 meetings, with the last lost being in 2011. The Beavers had come off a loss to the Sun Devils by 6 points. Yikes. The Wildcats are now 11-5 on the season and 1-2 in Pac-12 play.

Of course, in a game like this, fans immediately starting pointing the blame at Sean Miller. That’s fair. In this one though, the blame falls on not just the coach, but the players. Miller could have prepared his team to execute better against the zone, while the players could have shown a more sense of urgency from the start.

This pass from Mannion to Nnaji was one of the few highlights of the night, there weren’t many:

Here what Sean Miller had to say after the game:

At Zona Zealots, this loss for Arizona Basketball is disappointing. They had a chance to split the road trip in Oregon and back home above .500 in the Pac-12. Now they travel back to Tucson, looking to start a brand new winning streak. As always, Bear Down, Arizona!

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