CORVALLIS, Ore. – The Arizona Wildcats quickly put their loss to Oregon behind them at a place where it’s not always easy to do so.
The Wildcats beat Oregon State 80-70 today for their first win in three tries at Gill Coliseum under coach Sean Miller.
And even though the Beavers cut the Wildcats’ lead to one point six times in the first half, the Wildcats never trailed while showing the offensive aggressiveness and defense that led them to a 14-0 start before the Ducks beat them 70-66 on Thursday in Eugene.
Oregon State (10-6, 0-3) entered the game with the Pac-12’s best three-point percentage defense (30.3), but the Wildcats poured in 10 of 24 three-pointers, including a 5-for-8 effort from forward Solomon Hill.
Hill totaled 15 points and six rebounds while Mark Lyons had 15 points, five rebounds and five assists for UA, which improved to 15-1 overall and 3-1 in Pac-12 play entering a game at ASU on Saturday in Tempe.
Arizona actually made just 4 of 14 threes in the second half but still managed to stay comfortably ahead after Kevin Parrom hit two three pointers and Grant Jerrett added another while UA built a 60-45 lead with 12:22 left.
In the first half, Hill hit 4 of 5 three pointers in the first half while Arizona took a 43-35 halftime lead.
The Wildcats managed to stay ahead throughout while making 6 of 11 threes before halftime.
Hill totaled 12 points to lead the Wildcats in the half, while Nick Johnson had seven and Brandon Ashley six. Ashley returned to the starting lineup after Miller opted to start Parrom on Thursday at Oregon for matchup reasons.
The Beavers nearly had a turning point with 3:29 left, when they trailed by three points and Parrom was whistled for a technical foul. OSU’s Joe Burton hit two ensuing free throws to cut UA’s lead to one point but the Wildcats outscored OSU 9-2 the rest of the half.
Included in the late run were four points from Johnson and a three-pointer by Hill.
UA had built an early 13-6 lead thanks to threes from Hill and Jerrett early but the Beavers cut it to 17-16 with 12 minutes left on a three-pointer from Ahmad Starks, who led OSU in the half with 13 points.