EUGENE, Ore. - Here's a suggestion if the Arizona Wildcats want to beat ASU on Saturday for the first time in six tries:
Invite somebody over for a practice game at McKale Center on Thursday night, bring in refs, pipe in fan noise, whatever it takes.
That's been the formula so far for the Wildcats in this Pac-10 season, pulling out second-game wins only after rough losses in the opening game of a weekend: A win at UCLA after a loss at USC, a blowout of Washington after a heartbreaker against Washington State and now this - a 74-60 victory at Oregon on Saturday after a buzzer-beating loss at Oregon State on Thursday.
As a result, the Wildcats now stand again at a perfectly symmetrical 9-9 overall and 3-3 in the Pac-10 while Oregon dropped to 10-7 and 2-3.
The three standout UA players Saturday - Derrick Williams (20 points, 13 rebounds), Kyle Fogg (19 points) and Nic Wise (19 points) - all said the victory was a matter of taking the loss to the Beavers personally and deeply.
No magic formula. No special team meeting. No special Friday night meals.
"We took it hard on ourselves," Williams said. "We had to come out and play hard. Guys bounced back. That's what we do."
So they did it again, keeping the Ducks without a field goal for the first five minutes while building an 11-2 lead, after Jamelle Horne dunked the ball and made a jumper.
"I think it's just more not wanting to get swept," Wise said. "We had to make sure we didn't come out slow like we did in the first game with Oregon State."
Oregon tied the game at 29 later in the first half, but UA went on a 7-0 run at the end of the second half and never led by less than five in the second half.
They wouldn't give up the lead in part because they remembered not only that poor start at OSU but also the 11-point lead they blew in the second half at Gill Coliseum.
"It's hard to rebound after a difficult first-game loss," UA coach Sean Miller said. "But we've done it three times now. If you really look at the Oregon State game, the thing that made us all sick was we had opportunities to win. We had missed shots and a blown assignment on the last play. We really were in command. At the 9- or 10-minute mark in this game, we were in exactly the same position."
With 10 minutes left Saturday, UA led 51-41. With 10 minutes left Thursday at Oregon State, the Wildcats led 54-46.
But on Saturday, with 9:41 left, as he did after several key Oregon rallies, Wise popped in a three-pointer, one of four threes he hit in five tries. Wise then fed Williams for a fast-break dunk a minute later and UA went ahead by 14.
The momentum was not changing.
"I thought Nic Wise had one of his best games," Miller said. "He hit some timely shots and really controlled the game. And clearly Derrick Williams was terrific."
Williams' 20 points and 13 rebounds were his first double-double of the year and, in fact, only the second UA has had all season after Horne collected one in the season opener against NAU two months ago.
Williams' effort on the boards helped Arizona out-rebound the Ducks 36-28, while the Wildcats also held Oregon to 33.3 percent field goal shooting.
They were tough, resilient and hungry.
Just what their coach was hoping for.
"More than any game, to me, I leave this game the most satisfied," Miller said. "It's hard to come off a loss. Eventually, you say to yourself, they're not going to be able to keep doing it. But our effort level was terrific."
On StarNet: Get to know the Wildcats with the Star's Cat Cards player roll call at azstarnet.com/catcards/2010/bball
• When: Arizona at Arizona State
• When: 7:30 p.m. Saturday
• TV: FSAZ
• Radio: 1290-AM, 107.5-FM