57 -
Team 1 2
ARIZ 31 26
ORE 29 35
64
22-8

Arizona-Oregon Preview

The Associated Press

Though Arizona already clinched the Pac-12 regular-season title, it's poised to not lose any momentum heading into the conference tournament and beyond.

Looking for a sixth straight win, the visiting third-ranked Wildcats must remain focused during Saturday's regular-season finale against a surging Oregon squad that can further boost its NCAA tournament resume with a seventh consecutive victory.

Arizona (28-2, 15-2) secured its first league title in three seasons with a 79-66 win Sunday over Stanford, then had to work for a 74-69 victory at Oregon State on Wednesday.

"We want to finish this season out as strong as possible," said leading scorer Nick Johnson, who had a career-high 25 points against the Beavers. "We don't want to take an 'L,' and not play hard, because that carries over to the next game.

"We have ourselves a little momentum going here."

Arizona shot 42.1 percent Wednesday, its worst effort in five games since making 35.9 percent during the 69-66 double-overtime loss at Arizona State on Feb. 14. The Wildcats were also outrebounded 43-34, but recorded 21 points off 17 Oregon State turnovers.

The large rebounding disparity didn't sit well with Arizona coach Sean Miller, whose team ranks first in the Pac-12 with 39.0 boards per contest. Oregon State is tied for 10th at 34.5 per game, but became the sixth opponent this season to outrebound the Wildcats.

"I would put (Oregon State's) physicality, their size, against any front line in the country," said Miller said. "To be outrebounded on the road and still win, we'll take it.

"This is a reminder that in March, teams are desperate."

Oregon (21-8, 9-8) can fit that description.

Ranked 10th while starting 13-0, the Ducks lost eight of the next 10 before winning their previous six. Mike Moser had 22 points with 17 rebounds for his third straight double-double in Oregon's 85-78 win over Arizona State on Tuesday.

"We're trying to play on that type of level, like it's an NCAA game right now," Moser told the school's official website. "We just want to keep playing as if we're not in the tournament, keep fighting."

Averaging 19.0 points in five games and 16.3 boards in the last three, Moser is one of seven seniors the Ducks will honor Saturday.

Oregon snapped a three-game home skid to then-No. 4 Arizona with a 70-66 win last season, but couldn't make the Wildcats pay for a 40.0-percent shooting effort during the 67-65 road loss Feb. 6.

Coming off its initial defeat of the season and playing its first game since losing starting forward Brandon Ashley to a season-ending foot injury, Arizona was outrebounded by five, went 4 of 16 from 3-point range and missed 16 free throws. However, it held the Ducks to 2-of-10 shooting from beyond the arc in the second half and outscored them 32-24 in the paint overall.

"We all owe Arizona something," Oregon coach Dana Altman said.

"You got to be careful," he added. "Arizona is used to being in this situation; they've been in this situation all year. We've had our backs against the wall all year. This is one that's a little different for us, but our guys will be OK."

Johnson (16.3 points per game), who has scored at least 20 in three of the last four games, had 18 versus Oregon last month despite shooting 5 of 16 and missing all five 3-point attempts.

The Ducks are 0-2 against ranked opponents this season but will try for a third straight home victory over a Top 25 team.

Sign up for Yahoo Fantasy Hockey
Sorry you didn't like this comment. Please provide a reason below.

Are you sure?
Rating failed. Try again.
Request failed. Try again.
We will promote constructive and witty comments to the top, so everyone sees them!
Sorry, we can’t load comments right now. Try again.
    • Rooney, Shearer make pleas amid sex-abuse scandal

      Rooney, Shearer make pleas amid sex-abuse scandal

      Wayne Rooney and Alan Shearer, England captains present and past, have urged soccer players to come forward with allegations of sexual abuse amid the growing scandal in the British game. Rooney joined with other current captains of various English … More »

      The Canadian Press - 14 minutes ago
    • Athletics overwhelmingly backs broad reforms

      Athletics overwhelmingly backs broad reforms

      Athletics leaders have overwhelmingly approved broad changes championed by the sport's president, Sebastian Coe, to turn a corner on reputation-wrecking corruption and doping scandals. Coe's ''Time for Change'' package of reforms to the sport's … More »

      AP - Sports - 21 minutes ago
    • Agency denies tax evasion by Ronaldo and Mourinho

      Agency denies tax evasion by Ronaldo and Mourinho

      The soccer agency Gestifute has denied that clients including Portuguese star Cristiano Ronaldo and Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho are involved in any tax evasion after a media consortium reported that they had used tax havens to handle … More »

      Reuters - 26 minutes ago
    • Road rage ends in McKnight's death; criticism of case looms

      Road rage ends in McKnight's death; criticism of case looms

      A road rage incident possibly sparked by a driver cutting off another on a nearby bridge spiraled into a shooting that left an ex-NFL player dead, authorities said, amid criticism the shooter was allowed to go free. Joe McKnight, 28, was shot … More »

      AP - Sports - 28 minutes ago
    • IAAF overwhelmingly passes sweeping reforms

      By Gene Cherry MONACO (Reuters) - A sweeping reform package that changes how the scandal-hit governing body of world athletics operates was overwhelmingly passed at a special Congress on Saturday. "This is a very important moment in the history of … More »

      Reuters - 44 minutes ago