Three minutes passed before either team scored, and Arizona didn't hit its first shot against Oregon State until almost seven minutes into Friday's game.
It was that kind of night for the Wildcats (9-5, 1-2 Pac-12), who shot under 30 percent from the field as they fell 57-48 to the Beavers (7-8, 1-2) at McKale Center.
Arizona played without starting forward Kama Griffitts, the team's second-leading scorer, due to "personal reasons."
"When you're having trouble putting the ball in the basket, everything has to go right defensively," UA head coach Niya Butts said. "We didn't make enough defensive plays down the stretch. I thought, overall, when you hold a team to 57 points you should have a chance to win the game."
It took Arizona 6 minutes 42 seconds and 12 shots before Davellyn Whyte scored the Cats' first points of the game on a midrange jumper.
And although things started looking up later - Arizona led 42-41 with 10:42 left in the game - the Wildcats scored just six points after that to drop their second straight Pac-12 contest.
The Wildcats shot 19 of 71 (26.8 percent) from the field and 2 of 12 (16.7 percent) from three-point range.
"I mean shots aren't always gonna fall," said Whyte, a senior guard who scored a game-high 19 points with eight rebounds.
"We just have to regroup and get it together a little bit faster than we did," Whyte added. "It took us a while to get into rhythm, and we just need to be more consistent."
The Cats could have used Griffitts, who averages 11.5 points per game and is Arizona's second-best outside shooter behind Whyte, hitting 2.7 three-pointers per game at a 35.2 percent clip.
"I think we missed it a lot," forward Erica Barnes said of Griffitts' shooting. "But we have good shooters on the team. They just weren't falling for us."
Arizona and OSU combined to shoot 0 of 11 in the first 3:31 of the game before Ali Gibson hit a three-pointer for the Beavers, helping them jump out to a 7-0 lead.
By halftime, the UA got within 24-22, the Wildcats' lowest scoring output since a 17-point effort against North Texas on Nov. 28.
The second half moved a bit quicker. After Whyte tied it at 24 with a layup, Oregon State went on a 15-6 run to to take a 39-30 lead with 14:58 remaining.
Then, Arizona went on a 12-2 run of its own in the next 3:45 to take a 42-41 lead on Erica Barnes' layup.
"When they started to get ahead, we tried to punch back," said UA point guard Carissa Crutchfield, who scored 10 points.
But, in a rehash of the game's opening minutes, the Wildcats hit only 2 of their last 19 shots. OSU outscored Arizona 16-7 in that same time span, seven of which came from Patricia Bright.
Bright led the Beavers with 12 points on 5-of-6 shooting.
"We made them play at a faster pace," Butts said. "I thought they played at the pace we wanted to for the most part. We just didn't make enough plays."
On Sunday, Arizona will take on Oregon (2-13, 0-3) at 1 p.m. at McKale.
• What: Oregon at Arizona
• When: 1 p.m. Sunday
• Radio: 1400-AM