Arizona missed three shots on its final possession, allowing Oregon to hang on to a 59-57 win over the Wildcats today at McKale Center.
Powered early in the second half by Solomon Hill, who led Arizona with 16 points, the Wildcats made a furious comeback to erase deficits of 12 points at halftime and 17 overall. But could they could not overcome a late three-pointer from Oregon's Garrett Sim, who also made two key turnovers late in the game to give Arizona additional opportunities.
The loss dropped Arizona to 12-6 overall and 3-2 in the Pac-12, entering its first Pac-12 road swing to Utah and Colorado.
The Wildcats have never overcome more than a nine-point halftime deficit, as they did with Ball State on Nov. 13, all season. They trailed Oregon 34-22 at halftime on Saturday.
Arizona trailed 59-57 with 29 seconds left and the ball in its hands but with 19 seconds left, Nick Johnson's three-pointer was blocked by Oregon's Tony Woods. The ball went out of bounds, giving Arizona a chance to inbound, but a three-pointer by Brendon Lavender missed with seven seconds left and, after Kyle Fogg grabbed the rebound, he tried to drive inside and eventually threw up a 12-footer that missed at the buzzer.
Josiah Turner had tied the game at 54 with 3:25 left when he stole the ball and dunked on the other end of the floor. After Sim turned the ball over under the basket, Nick Johnson raced downcourt and picked up a foul, hitting two free throws that put the Wildcats ahead 56-54 for the first time since the first minute of the game.
But Oregon's E.J. Singler scored to tie it at 56 and Sim came back with a three-pointer from the corner to give the Ducks a 59-56 lead with 1:48 remaining.
After Turner hit one of two free throws to cut it to 59-57, Sim lost control of the ball with 52 seconds left, and Brendon Lavender picked it up. After a timeout, UA got the ball to Turner in the right corner but he was well off on a three-pointer.
Fortunately for UA, Sim missed the front end of a one-and-one with 29 seconds left and the Wildcats had another chance to win or tie with the game still at 59-57.
Oregon led 50-42 with 7:42 left and Johnson cut it to 54-48 with just over five minutes to go when he hit a three-pointer.
Hill actually outscored the entire Ducks team in scoring through the first eight-plus minutes of the second half, with 14 points to Oregon's 13.
Hill had 11 points on 4-for-5 shooting after less than seven minutes of second-half play, helping the Wildcats cut what was a 17-point Oregon lead early in the second half to just eight points with 13:17 left.
At that point, Oregon led 45-37.
Oregon took a 38-22 lead early in the second half and led 41-27 at the first media timeout (15:59).
Hill scored all of Arizona's five second-half points.
Arizona put up one of its least effective halves of the season before halftime, trailing Oregon 34-22.
Arizona committed 10 turnovers, was outrebounded 16-11 and allowed the Ducks to shoot 48.3 percent from the field.
Turner led the Wildcats in the half with six points but had no assists.
Olu Ashaolu, a transfer from Louisiana Tech, led the Ducks with 10 points.
Oregon took a 30-22 lead into the final media timeout of the first half, with 3:11 left. UA nearly made it 30-24 when Solomon Hill threw up a shot under the basket and goaltending was initially called but it was reversed when officials determined Angelo Chol hit it.
Oregon led 21-16 with 6:57 left. At that point, the Ducks were outrebounding UA 13-5.
Kevin Parrom hit his first three-pointer of the Pac-12 season, from the top of the key, to cut Oregon's lead to 16-11 just before the second media timeout (11:25).
UA called timeout with 12:23 to go, having given up seven straight Oregon points. Ashaolu scored inside and with a three-pointer, while E.J. Singler drove the baseline for a layup to give the Ducks a 16-8 lead.
While UA cut Oregon's early lead to 7-6 after the Ducks scored on their first three possession, getting jumpers from Singler and Sim, plus a three-pointer from Singler to take a 7-2 lead just 87 seconds into the game.