UO defense pulls out all the stops

Ducks hold Wildcats without a field goal in game's last 3:24
2012-01-15T00:00:00Z 2014-07-08T16:07:32Z UO defense pulls out all the stopsPatrick Finley Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star
January 15, 2012 12:00 am  • 

At every opportunity to gasp for breath and talk, the Oregon Ducks said the same thing Saturday afternoon. And they said it often, too, given the Arizona Wildcats took three timeouts in the final 1:34 of what would become a 59-57 UA loss.

"We kept on saying, 'Defensive stop - this is what's going to win the game, this is what's going to win the game,' " Ducks forward E.J. Singler said. "So we keep on saying that to each other - 'Get stops, get stops.' "

They did, over and over again.

In the final 3:24, the Wildcats missed all five field goal attempts.

In the final 19 seconds, the Wildcats missed three shots, two of them three-pointers that would have won the game, and a Kyle Fogg 12-footer at the buzzer that would have forced overtime.

"We were a little fortunate," said Oregon coach Dana Altman. "But those are things that have to happen on the road to get a big win like that."

UA coach Sean Miller harped on the lack of effort in the first half more than the specifics on the final few series.

"We got two shots to tie - one to tie, one to win," Miller said. "That aside, we also played 22 minutes with not the energy we needed to be what we should be."

Here are the results of the Wildcats' offensive efforts in the final 37 seconds:

The airball. Miller substituted point guard Josiah Turner, who played a career-high 29 minutes, for Brendon Lavender with 49 seconds to play, coming out of a timeout.

The UA trailed, 59-57.

Turner passed the ball and floated to the right-hand corner against the Ducks' matchup zone defense. He expected a teammate to shoot, but the ball was passed back to him.

"I wasn't ready for it - I gotta be ready for it," Turner said. "I knew the shot was coming; I just wasn't ready for the pass."

Miller put Turner - who scored five points in the last five minutes - into the game to drive to the basket.

Instead, he fired an airball from three-point range.

"When you look at the percentage," Miller said, "putting the ball in his hands to make a play is much different than putting the ball in his hands to shoot it."

The block. Oregon guard Garrett Sim, an 89.1 percent free-throw shooter, rebounded the airball and was fouled.

He stepped to the line - and missed the front end of a one-and-one.

"Him standing up there is a pretty good feeling," Altman said. "I'm shocked it didn't go in."

The Wildcats took another timeout following the rebound, putting Lavender back in for Turner. Nick Johnson attempted a three-pointer.

Altman thought Johnson was "going to get a good look" at a shot off a fade route, but Sim "made a big-time play" and blocked the shot.

The ball landed out of bounds, and Miller put Turner in for Johnson.

Lavender, scoreless after an 18-point game Thursday against Oregon State, stayed in the game.

"I was trying to put our best shooters out there," Miller said. "I don't know that I would have felt good leaving McKale, having Brendon Lavender sitting on the bench."

The last series. Miller said he wasn't sure the Ducks "did anything special" on the final series, which began with 17 seconds remaining.

Altman said he didn't know who would shoot for the UA.

"You're not going to leave Fogg, because he's their best percentage" shooter, he said.

Ten seconds into the possession, Lavender pulled up for a 23-footer.

"He got an open look," Singler said. "But good for us that he didn't hit it."

The shot was a bit short.

"You're hoping they miss," Altman said. "You're hoping to get a board. That ball was bouncing everywhere."

The rebound landed in Fogg's hands. Five seconds later, he flicked a 12-footer from the key toward the rim as the clock expired.

It bounced off, to the right.

Miller said he'll "live with an open three from Brendon Lavender and a pull-up from Kyle."

So will the Ducks, in retrospect.

"I thought it was going in," Singler said, smiling. "But it hit the rim and went off right."

Copyright 2014 Arizona Daily Star. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


AP Top 25


Free Wildcats Sports Newsletter

University of Arizona sports news and blog headlines, delivered daily

Follow the Arizona Daily Star

Featured businesses

View more...

Deals, offers & events

View more...