Green, Mannion lead No. 24 Wildcats past Oregon State
Josh Green scored 18 points and Nico Mannion scored 12 of his 16 in the second half for the 24th-ranked Wildcats (19-7, 9-4 Pac-12), Max Hazzard scored 13 of his 15 points in the second half and Zeke Nnaji added 13 points and seven rebounds for Arizona.
The Wildcats made 10 more free throws than the Beavers (15-11, 5-9), with help from three technical fouls against Oregon State.
“They shot 15 free throws and we shot 28," Arizona coach Sean Miller said. “It was about our aggressiveness.”
Oregon State also committed 21 turnovers to lose for the third time in five games.
The Beavers lost leading scorer Tres Tinkle to his second technical foul for a high elbow with 13:17 remaining and Arizona up 52-40. Oregon State coach Wayne Tinkle, Tres' father, was assessed a technical moments later.
Wayne Tinkle didn't expect his son to lose his composure.
“That was uncharacteristic,” Wayne Tinkle said. “But I tell you what, he's been ridden like American Pharaoh all of the stinkin' league (season). And he's got to be better. He's got to play through that, but I've told people that if the way the game is being called isn't changed, then something silly is going to happen. It's very unfortunate. He's not that kind of player. He's got to keep his head about him."
After the technicals, the Wildcats took control with a 12-3 run to cruise to victory. The Wildcats won for the sixth time in seven games and are tied for second place in the conference.
Arizona avenged an 82-65 loss at Oregon State earlier in the season.
“It wasn't something we talked about, but I think as a group, we kind of had that in mind," Mannion said. “We owed them one.”
Jarod Lucas scored 18 points and Kylor Kelley added 14 points and eight rebounds for Oregon State. Tinkle entered the night averaging 18.3 points per contest, but he was held to 10.
The Beavers turned the ball over four times in the first four minutes. A steal and dunk from Green gave the Wildcats a 10-2 lead at the 16:01 mark.
“My main goal coming into the game was just try my hardest on defense, bring energy to the team and do all the dirty work and energize,” said Green, who had four steals.
Oregon State went almost five minutes between baskets early in the game, but trimmed an 11-point deficit to 19-15 on a layup by Ethan Thompson with 9:33 to go.
Christian Koloko’s dunk out of a timeout gave Arizona a 35-22 lead, the Wildcats’ largest lead of the first half. Green scored 13 points before the break to give Arizona a 40-30 lead. Nnaji’s two free throws with 15:34 left gave Arizona a 47-34 lead early in the second half, and the Wildcats maintained control from there.
Oregon State: Plenty of observers felt the Beavers had the experience and talent to be an NCAA tournament team this season, but they will have to go on an epic run in February and March to get in. The opportunity is there for a strong regular season finish, with games at No. 14 Oregon, whom the Beavers beat once this season, and at home against struggling Stanford and California, before the Pac-12 Tournament.
Arizona: The Wildcats are right in the thick of the regular season title race, with a home game against Oregon - which fell at Arizona State Thursday - and home games against Washington State and Washington to end the regular season.
Miller singled out freshman center Koloko for his play - five points and three blocked shots in 10 minutes. Soon after Tres Tinkle was ejected, Koloko swatted away a shot from Thompson, which led to Hazzard's driving layup at other end for 56-40 lead.
Oregon State: Heads north to face Arizona State Saturday night in Tempe, Ariz. The Beavers lost at home to the Sun Devils 82-76 on January 9.
Arizona: The Wildcats get a chance to atone for a 74-73 overtime loss at Oregon last month when they face the Ducks at home Saturday night.
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