Williams powers Arizona past Ducks 70-57Posted: Updated:
TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) -- The future of Arizona basketball under first-year coach Sean Miller was on full display in the Wildcats' 70-57 victory over Oregon on Thursday night.
Freshmen scored the first 32 of Arizona's 34 second-half points.
"We're going to be very good," guard Momo Jones promised.
Derrick Williams took over the game at the start of the second half, scoring 11 of his 20 points in the first 3 1/2 minutes.
The 6-foot-8, 225-pound freshman made eight of his 10 shots, including an array of wide-open dunks as the Wildcats (13-11, 7-5) moved into a tie with Arizona State for second in the scrambled Pac-10, a game behind first-place California.
"Those guys have all gotten better," Miller said of his freshmen. "Each one of them has things they need to work on for the future, but I would also tell you that each one of them really adds great value to this year's team. We counted on them from the early days. It's easier to count on them now because of the experience that they have."
Jones added 11 and Nic Wise 10 for Arizona. Jeremy Jacob and Teondre Williams scored 10 apiece for the Ducks (12-11, 4-7).
Of the Wildcats' 15 second-half baskets, eight were dunks and three were layups, most of them wide open against the leaky Oregon zone.
"It was open every time," freshman Solomon Hill said. "We get it moving, they can't find us. I mean, they're not matched up and they can't account for everybody."
Arizona, swept at the Washington schools last week, took the lead for good late in the first half, then Williams took over.
He scored all of Arizona's points, including three dunks, in an 11-1 run to start the second half. Williams punctuated the outburst with a three-point play that put the Wildcats ahead 47-29 with 16 1/2 minutes to play.
The lead reached 52-33 when Jones sank a 3-pointer with 14:40 left.
"The beginning of the second half, offense-defense, could have been our best basketball of the year," Miller said. "It was the difference in the game."
Oregon, committing eight turnovers in the first nine minutes of the second half, never again got closer than the final 13-point margin. The Ducks shot 39 percent and made 8-of-15 free throws.
"If we had just made plays, I think we would have been all right," Ducks coach Ernie Kent said. "Between the free throws and the missed layups, we gave up a lot. We didn't finish plays. A lot of those led to the fast break for Arizona. We just weren't making what I call `scoring plays.'"
The Wildcats used a 14-5 run to take a 36-25 lead on Brendon Lavender's 3-pointer from the corner with 1:13 to play in the first half. Teondre Williams' 3-pointer cut the Arizona lead to 36-28 at the break.
The Wildcats' Kyle Fogg matched his career best with eight assists but was 0-of-9 shooting, with six misses coming from 3-point range. Arizona had assists on 20 of its 28 baskets.
The only non-freshman to score for the Wildcats in the second half was Jamelle Horne on a layup with 3:41 to play.
"They really increased the tempo of the game and we came out less aggressive in the second half," Jacob said.
Arizona swept the season series with the Ducks, winning 74-60 in Eugene on Jan. 16. Oregon is 2-7 since opening the season with wins at Washington State and Washington.
While Oregon plays at Arizona State on Saturday, Arizona is host to an Oregon State team that beat the Wildcats in Corvallis 57-54 on a 3-pointer by Lathen Wallace with 1.1 seconds to play.
Arizona plays five of its last seven Pac-10 games at home, where the Wildcats are 4-1 in conference play.
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