I Have To Admit...
I'm such a big Wildcat basketball fan that when they lose a game or play kind of bad, I almost get sick. Really, I feel so bad that I sometimes don't feel like even eating for a day or two. I never get to see the post game conference because I have to finalize the DVD, etc., plus I've been having trouble watching/listening because lately I get the video but no sound or nothing at all. I just watched the post game conference with Coach Miller and then with Rondae, TJ, and Nick. After listening to them I started feeling a little better. Then I found the article from the Oregon Live which was linked from the article in the AZDS(I always come to PGU first and most often, then go look for articles on the Wildcats every else I can find) After listening to the conference and then reading this article, I feel a lot better. I'm going to post the link and then the article and maybe it can help some of my fellow Wildcat fans feel better as well.
First the Link;
And the article itself;
TUCSON, Ariz. – Like an oasis in the Arizona desert, a statement-making, ship-righting victory for Oregon looked too good to be true before suddenly evaporating Thursday evening.
In the din of the McKale Center and against the nation’s No. 2 team, the Ducks wilted under late pressure, losing 67-65 to Arizona despite holding a six-point lead with 8:30 remaining.
Oregon earned that lead with a tough-mindedness that was typical of its first 35 minutes. They bullied a Wildcats team searching to replace the injured Brandon Ashley by outrebounding Arizona, 40-35. And despite star guard Joseph Young scoring zero points because of a brief injury and foul trouble in the first half, the trio of Dominic Artis, Damyean Dotson and Jason Calliste carried UO to a one-point halftime lead with the swagger of a challenger ducking a heavyweight favorite’s punches.
Yet Oregon lost in the final five minutes in a fashion that stands as a microcosm of the season. Oregon is 2-4 in games decided by four points or fewer.
“A lot of our games have been coming down the last seconds and the last minutes and we've just got to find a way to just fight and get over that and get over the last minutes,” said Dotson, who scored 12 points and had three rebounds.
“Today, we failed. To let that one go it hurts, that’s a big one we let go. It hurt a lot."
After grabbing nearly every rebound and making free throws early, the Ducks couldn’t manage either in the deciding stretch. Conversely the Wildcats – who struggled at both and shot just 19-of-35 from the free-throw line -- grabbed offensive rebounds on four consecutive possessions in the final five minutes and scored three times off them to cut UO’s lead to 60-59 with 2:25 remaining. The Wildcats had 16 second-chance points to Oregon’s 11.
“We did a lot of good things, but it boiled down to a couple of offensive rebounds and put-backs they got late,” Oregon coach Dana Altman said. “We had a bad possession with four seconds to go. We’ve got to make better decisions and better plays. We didn’t execute.”
Young and Calliste tied for a team-high 14 points. Mike Moser grabbed nine rebounds and had three assists. Arizona star guard Nick Johnson bounced back from a 1-of-14 shooting night in Sunday’s loss to Cal by scoring a game-high 18, including a pair of two-handed dunks in the first half that seemed to signal Arizona was playing angry after a first loss four days before, to Cal.
But the Ducks fought back in limiting Arizona to 40.0 percent shooting and made highly-touted freshman Aaron Gordon, with six points and eight rebounds, an afterthought. He looked lost, with UO defenders gladly giving him a 10-foot cushion to shoot knowing he struggles outside of the key. He shot just 2-of-11 from the free-throw line.
Oregon had stretches where it hushed the 14,545 in attendance and gave serious warning it might send the former AP No. 1 team to a second consecutive loss. On one, a Dotson putback dunk off a missed Calliste three-pointer, imbued UO with confidence. But – and it seems in Pac-12 play there is always a “but” for Oregon -- the Ducks heavily contributed to their demise.
“I thought we were in pretty good shape but we just didn’t finish it,” Altman said. “They’re hurting. That’s our third two-point loss. I just told them we’ve got to be resilient. “
Up 60-59, Artis threw the ball a hands-length too high over forward Richard Amardi’s head near halfcourt, leading to an over-and-back call. The play was intended to find Calliste on a close shot attempt. On Arizona’s next possession, Wildcat point guard T.J. McConnell shrugged off one of his worst performances of the season (six points, six assists, two turnovers and foul trouble) to hit a three-pointer from the top of the arc for a two-point lead.
Oregon sped upcourt in an attempt to catch Arizona’s defense off-guard with a hasty three-pointer by Young, who was the hot hand after scoring all his 14 points after halftime. But instead of recognizing that Arizona wasn’t fooled by the ruse, Young shot an admitted ill-advised three-pointer from 23 feet that missed badly.
“We've just got to make the simple plays at the end,” Young said. “One of the jumpers I took I didn't need to take but it was that moment, I was feeling it, a heat check.”
In all, Arizona (22-1, 9-1 Pac-12) closed out what Miller called his team’s “best victory of the season” with a 17-6 run in the final eight minutes. Free throws sealed Arizona’s win from there. Oregon (15-7, 3-7) now tries to salvage a split in Arizona against Arizona State on Saturday.
“It hurts having an opportunity,” Altman said, “and not being able to finish.”
NOTE: Moser scored the 1,000th point of his career on a first-half layup. He becomes the third player on the UO roster with that many points, joining Young and Calliste.
-- Andrew Greif
Last edited by titan4wildcats; 02-07-2014 at 10:17 AM.