Instant Analysis: Oregon State puts Arizona on blast, routs the Wildcats 82-65
Arizona was swept on the road by the Oregon schools for the first time since the 2005-2006 season after the Wildcats followed a 74-73 overtime loss at Oregon with an 82-65 drubbing at the hands of Oregon State in Corvallis. Five Beavers scored in double figures, led by Tres Tinkle’s 20 points. The Beavers torched Arizona’s usually solid defense by knocking down 54.0 percent of their field goal attempts. The Beavers also outrebounded the Wildcats 32-28 and made 20-of-22 attempts from the free throw line.
An up and down first half for both clubs turned into a model of efficiency after halftime for the Beavers, who ran away from Arizona and snapped a seven game losing streak to the Wildcats. It’s incredibly rare for an opponent to get to play their walk-ons against an Arizona team, but that’s exactly what OSU did after spending a majority of the second half shooting over 70.0 percent from the floor. Meanwhile, OSU’s defense completely befuddled the visitors, which looked hungover from last Thursday’s overtime loss at ninth-ranked Oregon. Arizona shot under 40.0 percent from the floor, with stars Nico Mannion and Josh Green combining to shoot 6-for-20 on the night.
OSU’s Tres Tinkle and Ethan Thompson scored 20 and 18 points, respectively. The duo also combined for 15 of OSU’s 21 assists. Arizona’s Zeke Nnaji and Nico Mannion each fell just short of a double-double. Nnaji led all scorers 21 points, while pulling down nine rebounds. Mannion scored nine points and dished out nine assists. Notably, Tinkle moved to No. 3 on OSU’s all-time career scoring list.
How Oregon State Won?
The mid-second half swoon that had already cost Arizona games against Baylor, Gonzaga and St. John’s reared its ugly ahead once again in Corvallis. From the 12-minute mark until the 4-minute mark, Oregon State made 13-of-14 field goals while Arizona was a woeful 2-for-14 shooting. The Beavers turned a nip and tuck game into a blowout, building its lead to 77-59 before inserting their walk-ons in the closing minutes. OSU would end up shooting 65.4 percent from the floor after intermission, while Arizona finished the half making just 10-of-29 field goal attempts (34.5%).
With eight new faces on the team, Arizona is still struggling to find the kind of chemistry that will serve them well on the road. Arizona’s has yet to win a true road game this season, with a variety of offensive struggles popping up at the worst time. Sunday at Oregon State, those offensive struggles were compounded by defensive struggles that Oregon State took advantage of over and over again in the second half. The Beavers scored inside and outside, beat the Wildcats to loose balls on mad scrambles, and seemed to break the will of the Wildcats with about seven minutes to play.
In a harsh dose of reality, the play of Arizona’s upperclassmen is a brutal reminder of exactly how bad the Wildcats were last year. Almost inexplicably, Chase Jeter finished the game with a single rebound. Dylan Smith was 0-for-6 shooting. Ira Lee is no longer considered a role player on the club, getting almost no time on the floor against both Oregon and Oregon State. The inability of these returnees to be consistent is putting way too much pressure on all the new faces on this team, including the standout trio of Mannion, Nnaji and Josh Green. Stone Gettings is still trying to get back into game shape after missing more than a month of the season. Max Hazzard and Jemarl Baker continue to give the Wildcats solid minutes, but it’s not always going to be enough, particularly away from home.
Player of the Game
Oregon State’s Tres Tinkle gets the edge for his all-around performance against Arizona. Tinkle had 18 points, six rebounds and seven assists against only a single turnover. The head coach’s son played 37 minutes.
Stat of the Game
With five minutes to play in the game, the Beavers were shooting 75.0 percent from the floor in the second half. It was an offensive clinic by Oregon State that had Arizona’s defense looking lost and foolish.
Arizona plays Utah on Thursday in Tucson. Tip time is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. MST. The game will be televised on Pac-12 Networks.