Photo by Scott Boldt
Oregon Basketball

Oregon Beats Arizona 74-73 in Overtime Thriller

January 9, 2020

Things didn’t get off to the best start as Arizona opened the game on a quick 7-0 run. Oregon finally got on the board when Pritchard hit a 3 with just over 16 minutes left. At the first timeout with just under 15 minutes left Oregon trailed 7-3.


Oregon was able to cut the lead to just 3 with just over 11 minutes remaining. However they were shooting just 2-12 from the field. It was great to see Mathis hit a 3 ball early to get things going for himself. He’s had games where he doesn’t get going early and is almost a non factor offensively.


Things wouldn’t get much better as Arizona stormed out to a 20-11 lead with just under 10 minutes left. Oregon looked incredibly out of sync on the offensive side of the ball and had 4 turnovers compared to just one from Arizona.


Will Richardson was single handily keeping Oregon in the game. He had scored 10 of the 16 total points Oregon had at the 7 minute mark in the game. At this point Oregon had hit 4 3’s but had only 1 made shot from inside the arc. They just couldn’t hit anything. On the defensive side of the ball they were getting torched as Nico Mannion led the way with 10 points for Arizona. Oregon needed to make a run badly in the final stretch of the half as they trailed 26-16.


Oregon would be able to make up a little bit of ground as they trailed by only 6 with just over 3 minutes left. Dante really started to get going during the stretch as he was able to throw down a couple of dunks. Duarte also hit 2 shots during the stretch and the 1st one was a really tough take with 2 defenders in his face. It was good to see Oregon cut the lead down and they would need to continue to do so in the final 3 minutes.


Oregon would be able to continue to get things going as they trailed 36-34 at halftime. It felt like Arizona was outplaying them all night but Oregon somehow found a way to be trailing by only 2. Richardson led the way with 10 points and Pritchard led the team in rebounds with 5. Oregon was shooting 39 percent from the field while Arizona was shooting 45. The thing keeping Oregon in the game is that they hit 5 3’s compared to Arizona’s 2. They were getting out-rebounded and had given up 20 points in the paint.


At the first media timeout in the 2nd half Oregon trailed 43-40. Dante had a nice bucket inside where he was able to put a little touch on the ball after he made a really strong move. It wasn’t the prettiest start to the half we’ve ever seen Oregon play, but similar to the first half they found a way to scrap and not allow Arizona to go on a big run.


Oregon would go on a quick 6-0 run over the next few minutes to give themselves the 46-43 lead with just over 13 minutes left. Dante hit another nice shot to give himself 10 on the night and the 3rd duck to score double digit points as Richardson and Duarte had both hit that mark. Oregon’s press was starting to give Arizona some trouble as they weren’t turning it over but using up a good chunk of the shot clock on most possessions.


Arizona would claw their way back to take the 49-48 lead with just over 11 minutes left. Mannion had a huge and-1 and Josh Green hit a corner 3 to help take back the lead. The referees continued to call every ticky-tack foul on both teams. It was frustrating as it kept disrupting the flow of the game as both teams were playing fast and physical.


The game would continue to go back and forth as Arizona lead 54-52 with 7 and a half minutes left. Richardson had a fantastic finish at the hoop where he totally confused the defender and had great touch to kiss the ball off of the glass. Mannion would continue to score as he had 17 points. He just finds ways to get shots off even if it does look a little bit unconventional. 


Both teams were trading buckets before Pritchard and Duarte hit back to back 3’s to give Oregon the 60-57 lead with 5:30 remaining. During that stretch Matthew Knight Arena was rocking and it was the loudest I’ve heard it at a men’s game all year.


Arizona would answer by going on a 7-0 run to take the 64-60 lead. Smith hit a huge 3 and Arizona had a few good looks in the paint. Offensively Oregon couldn’t get a lot going and had a turnover as well as a few bad shots. With just over 3 minutes remaining Oregon was going to need someone to step up on the offensive side of the ball.


Arizona would have the 6 point lead with just under 2 minutes remaining. However after a pair of free throws from Richardson and a bucket from Duarte they trailed by 2 with 44 seconds remaining.


Pritchard tied it up with just about 30 seconds left. He was posting up Mannion and had a beautiful step back 2 to help send the game to overtime. It really was a fantastic shot and he’s been so clutch in those big moments all year.


Things would start slow in overtime before Richardson hit a layup to start the scoring for Oregon. It was tied up at 68 before Richardson had an incredible move where he got fouled and found a way to still make the shot. He hit the free throw to give Oregon the 71-68 lead with just over 2 minutes left.


Mannion would answer back with a huge 3 pointer to tie the game up at 71. He barely had any space to shoot but still managed to get a good look off. Pritchard was fouled on the next possession and he was able to knock down one of his free throws to give Oregon the 72-71 lead with 42 seconds remaining.


Arizona would take the lead but Richardson once again answered back to give Oregon the 1 point lead. Arizona had the ball with about 15 seconds left and a lot happened in that span. Oregon got the stop but Pritchard stepped out of bounds so Arizona had about 8 seconds to take the lead. The Oregon defense stepped up and forced another stop but the ball bounced off Dante’s hand so Arizona had another chance to inbound the ball with under 2 seconds remaining. Pritchard would steal the inbounds and Oregon would win the game 74-73.


This game was a perfect example of why this team could be so dangerous come March. They didn’t play well and got outplayed in a few aspects of the game as well as shooting worse than Arizona yet they found a way to continue to fight all game and came out victorious. It was a fantastic team effort and a really hard fought game from both teams.


The player of the game definitely was Will Richardson as he ended the night with 21 points as well as 5 rebounds and 4 assists. He made so many big time shots and finishes at the rim better than anyone on the team. He was the biggest reason Oregon was able to scrape out this win.


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