Arizona shot just 36.5 percent from the field despite a late second-half surge and lost its first Pac-12 game of the season Thursday, 59-54 to Oregon at McKale Center.
The Wildcats’ worst game from the field was their 35.8 percent shooting effort in a 58-49 loss to Baylor on Dec. 15 at McKale Center.
The loss to Oregon dropped UA to 13-5 overall and 4-1 in the Pac-12 heading into a 5 p.m. Saturday game against Oregon State. The Ducks improved to 11-6 and 2-2.
The Wildcats had not lost a Pac-12 game at home since UCLA beat them each of the past two seasons, while Oregon snapped their 49-game homecourt winning streak during the 2015-16 season but has no players left from that team.
Chase Jeter led Arizona with 12 points and 10 rebounds while Brandon Williams added 10 points and seven rebounds.
Oregon wasn't much better shooting, hitting 38.6 percent, but the Ducks committed just nine turnovers while UA committed 14. Paul White scored 15 points and five rebounds for the Ducks while Victor Bailey Jr. had 13 points and hit 3 of 5 3-pointers.
Oregon led by as many as 13 points early in the second half, but by the time Bailey Jr. and Dylan Smith traded 3-pointers late, Oregon carried a 55-51 lead into the final minute.
UA defended Oregon’s next possession well enough that Payton Pritchard had to fire off a rushed shot that missed, while Williams missed a 3 for UA with 18 seconds left, and the Wildcats still trailed by four.
Louis King sank two free throws with 16 seconds left to put Oregon ahead 57-51 and the Wildcats’ last gasp wasn’t enough: With four seconds left, Smith hit a 3-pointer to cut the Ducks’ lead to 57-54 and UA called an immediate timeout. Pritchard hit two free throws after being fouled with two seconds left.
The Wildcats pulled within four early in the half after getting a 3-pointer from Alex Barcello, four points from Williams and a three-point play from Ira Lee.
The Ducks pulled back ahead 51-43 when Pritchard hit a pair of free throws and White made a rebound basket.
Oregon then went ahead 52-43 while UA’s Justin Coleman and Jeter both missed the front ends of one-and-one free-throw attempts. But Randolph hit his 3 to bring UA within 52-48 with 2:07 left.
Down by eight at halftime, the Wildcats continued their shooting and ballhandling struggles against Oregon’s defense in the early second half. Through the first nine minutes of the half, they made just 2 of 13 shots and turned the ball over twice, going completely scoreless during a stretch of five minutes and 10 seconds in which Oregon took a 39-26 lead.
During that stretch, White scored inside and hit a 3 from the right corner.
In the first half, Arizona shot just 29.6 percent and had nine turnovers, trailing the Ducks 31-23 at halftime.
The Wildcats finished the first half missing 12 of their final 14 shots from the field while Pritchard stole the ball from Coleman and raced in for a layup before time expired to give Oregon its eight-point lead.
The Ducks missed their first seven 3-pointers but stayed in the game by forcing UA turnovers and then caught fire from outside, hitting 3 of 4 over a four minute stretch to help pull from a 16-16 tie into a 26-18 lead at the four-minute mark.
While Arizona kept Oregon under 30 percent shooting through the first 12 minutes of the half, the Wildcats had seven turnovers to that point, several against the Ducks’ press.
Arizona took an early 10-8 lead on a 3-pointer from Williams after the first media timeout but Oregon inserted Kenny Wooten for the first time in five games after he broke his jaw last month, and Wooten made an immediate impact by scoring inside to tie the game at 10.
Oregon wouldn’t say before the game if Wooten would play but he came off the bench wearing the face mask.
Jeter scored twice inside to put UA up by 16-11 later but a layup from Oregon’s Will Richardson cut it to three and then Oregon found Bailey for a wide-open corner three that tied it at 16.
Bailey followed that with two more jumpers to put the Ducks up 21-16 with 6:25 left in the half, and Oregon found its rhythm from 3 down the stretch before halftime.
Arizona cut it to 26-23 on a three-point play by Williams with 51 seconds left but Oregon had another 3 from Bailey with 27 seconds left before Pritchard made his steal and layup before the buzzer.