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No. 17 Arizona uses late run to outlast Oregon 90-83

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TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) — Arizona went on a big run, then had a rash of turnovers and defensive mistakes to let Oregon back in it. The Wildcats again went on a big run, again allowed the Ducks to rally.

A third time put Oregon away.

Allonzo Trier scored 25 points, Deandre Ayton added 24 and No. 17 Arizona used that late run to outlast Oregon 90-83 on Saturday.

“It’s a huge win, especially since Oregon is rolling and had a huge win in Phoenix against ASU,” said Arizona’s Rawle Alkins, who had 13 points and six assists. “We had to protect our home court.”

Arizona (14-4, 4-1 Pac-12) grinded out a defense-dominated win over Oregon State on Thursday. It was all about the offense on Saturday, two long, athletic teams trading runs throughout an entertaining game.

Arizona had the last one, scoring eight straight points to go up 84-77 with 72 seconds left. The Wildcats shot 53 percent from the field to beat the team that ended their 49-game home-court winning streak a year ago.

Oregon (12-6, 2-3) rallied from double-digit deficits three times, but couldn’t muster a final comeback to leave the desert with a split between the Pac-12’s two Arizona schools.

Elijah Brown scored 25 points and MiKyle McIntosh had 20 for the Ducks.

“The last 4 minutes were the difference,” said Oregon guard Payton Pritchard, who had 12 points and seven assists. “But I think we made a jump this week.”

Oregon had been in a funk before this week, losing two of its first three Pac-12 games, including a disheartening 76-64 setback against rival Oregon State.

The Ducks bounced back on Thursday with a strong all-around game, knocking of No. 11 Arizona State 76-72 for their first win as an unranked team against a top-11 team in 41 years.

Oregon dominated the Sun Devils in the paint, outscoring them by 22 inside while grabbing 15 offensive rebounds.

Arizona, with Ayton and fellow 7-footer Dusan Ristic inside, was literally a much bigger challenge and the Wildcats played it to their advantage early.

Working the ball inside for shots at the rim and kickouts, the Wildcats jumped on the Ducks after opening with consecutive turnovers. Arizona hit its first six shots and blew past Oregon with a 17-2 run to go up 21-9.

“Those are some pretty big guys inside there,” McIntosh said.

The Ducks rallied after Arizona State went on a big first-half run and did the same thing against Arizona — twice. The second one, 12-0, pulled them within 32-31.

Arizona led 41-38 at halftime after both teams shot at least 50 percent.

The Wildcats kept the run trend rolling, scoring eight straight points to go up 51-40 early in the second half. Oregon took its turn, tying the game at 55-all.

BIG PICTURE

Oregon may have lost, but a road win at Arizona State and taking Arizona to the wire at McKale Center could be just what the Ducks need to get some traction after a slow Pac-12 start.

Arizona proved it can win with defense and offense in beating the two Oregon schools this week.

FOULS, FOULS, FOULS

The game was high-scoring with plenty of highlight-reel plays, an amazing feat considering how many times the game was stopped by whistles.

The teams combined for 51 fouls, with Oregon’s McIntosh and Paul White fouling out. Arizona made 34 of 37 free throws and Oregon was 21 for 24.

“Our ability to make free throws was the difference in the game,” Arizona coach Sean Miller said.

SORKIN SLIDES

Oregon senior forward Roman Sorkin gave his team a big lift in the win over Arizona State, finishing with 13 points after scoring 10 the previous 10 games. He had little impact on this one against Arizona’s massive post players, scoring two points in 2 minutes.

PINDER’S LIFT

Arizona’s Keanu Pinder did not play against Oregon State, but gave the Wildcats a boost of energy off the bench against Oregon. The senior forward from Australia had a blocked shot shortly after entering the game and energized the crowd with a thunderous dunk in the first half. He finished with six points and two blocked shots.

“I just have to stay ready,” Pinder said. “You never know when you’re going to get the opportunity. I got the opportunity and ran with it.”

Washington’s Thybulle returning for senior season

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Matisse Thybulle will return to Washington for his senior season after contemplating declaring for the NBA draft following a junior campaign in which he was named the Pac-12 defensive player of the year.

“The NBA is really enticing and it was definitely something that I seriously considered when the season was over,” Thybulle told the Seattle Times. “I talked it over with my family and we came to the conclusion that it would be in my best interest to stay and get my degree (in communications) and grow as a basketball player and take this last year to mature and fine tune everything so I can be fully prepared to take that next step when it’s time.”

The 6-foot-5 guard averaged 11.2 points, 2.9 rebounds, 2.0 assists and 3.0 steals per game last season. He shot 44.5 percent from the field and 36.5 percent from 3-point range.

“I talked to coach (Mike Hopkins) and he gave me some good advice that was honestly something that helped in the grand scheme of things,” Thybulle said. “He told me that if I do it (enter the draft), then I should be all in because that’s what I’m going to be up against is a whole bunch of guys fighting for their lives. He thought it would be a better idea for me to stay in school until I’m at that point.”

Washington is awaiting the decision of Noah Dickerson, who declared for the draft but has not hired an agent. The 6-foot-8 averaged 15.5 points and 8.4 rebounds last season.

Koby McEwen transferring to Marquette

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Steve Wojciechowski added a significant piece to his 2019-20 team over the weekend.

Koby McEwen announced his intention to transfer to Marquette from Utah State late Sunday evening.

“I would like to thank God, my family, inner circle and all the schools/coaches that recruited me during this process!” McEwen tweeted. “With that being said, I’m proud to announce that I’ll be furthering my college career at Marquette University.”

McEwen picked the Golden Eagles over fellow finalists Creighton and Grand Canyon after he decided to transfer when the Aggies announced South Dakota coach Craig Smith was taking over the program last month. The 6-foot-4 guard averaged 15.6 points, 5.4 rebounds and 3.2 assists per game while shooting 40 percent from the field and 30 percent from 3-point range as a sophomore.

After sitting out the upcoming season, McEwen will have to years of eligibility remaining. Marquette went 21-14 last season, but missed the NCAA tournament for the third time in Wojciechowski’s four years in Milwaukee.

Minnesota adds Vanderbilt transfer Payton Willis

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Minnesota has added some depth for the future.

The Golden Gophers received a pledge from Vanderbilt transfer Payton Willis over the weekend, giving him a guard with two seasons of eligibility remaining starting in 2019-20.

Willis will sit out the upcoming season under NCAA transfer rules.

The 6-foot-4 guard played a limited role in two seasons in Nashville, never averaging more than 18. 5 minutes or 5.2 points per game. He scored in double figures in three games as a sophomore.

Willis was a top-150 prospect in the Class of 2016 coming out of Fayetteville, Ark. with offers from the likes of Tulsa, Rice and Dayton. Vandy and Minnesota were his two high-major offers.

After being ranked in the top-15, Minnesota was beset by injury and suspensions last season as they limped to the finish line in a 15-17 season that featured losses in 12 of its last 13 games.

Richard Pitino still has two available scholarships for the 2018-19 campaign.

Report: Quade Green returning to Kentucky

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John Calipari just landed a critical recruit for 2018-19, and he was already on the roster.

Quade Green, who averaged 25 minutes per game last season, is returning to Kentucky for his sophomore season, his mother told the Lexington Herald-Leader on Monday.

Given that six Wildcat players have entered the draft (Kevin Knox, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Hami Diallo are signing with agents), getting the 6-foot point guard back for a second season is a massive deal for Calipari and Co. The Wildcats have always been at their best under Calipari with returning players as the cornerstones of the roster with talented one-and-dones providing the extra boost. Getting one such returner at the point guard position is even more critical.

Green, who came to Kentucky as a five-star recruit last year, averaged 9.3 points and 2.7 assists per game while shooting 45.1 percent from the field and a respectable 37.1 percent from 3-point range, an area where Kentucky continually needs help.

With Green back in the fold, Kentucky will now await the decisions of PJ Washington, Wenyen Gabriel and Jarred Vanderbilt, who are all going through the pre-draft process without hiring agents, which will potentially allow them to return to school and bolster a Kentucky roster has the look of a top-five team.

CBT Podcast: NBA Draft Early Entry Deadline: Winners, losers and who has the most on the line?

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The NBA Draft Early Entry Deadline came and went on Sunday night, meaning there are now roughly 60 college players that have signed with an agent and another 100 or so that have declared for the draft while retaining their college eligibility. Who were the winners? Who were the losers? Who has the most on the line? Sam Vecenie of the Game Theory podcast joined Rob Dauster to talk through all of it. The rundown:

OPEN: What do NBA teams value in players these days?

10:00: Villanova has more on the line during this testing the water process than anyone

19:00: Just how important was De’Andre Hunter’s decision to return to Virginia

25:25: Gonzaga getting Rui and Killian Tillie back makes them a title favorite

32:10: Nevada has a top ten season on the line with the Martin twins and Jordan Caroline

36:15: #RANTALERT – The decision to turn pro is so much more complicated than “is he a first round pick”

48:30: Rapid fire: Maryland, Kansas, Syracuse, Nebraska, Purdue and Michigan. What do they have on the line?