In their last game, the No. 2 Oregon Ducks lost to Arizona State, 72-66. For No. 18 Arizona, it was a last second-basket by No. 3 Oregon State’s Mikayla Pivec that handed the Wildcats their second straight loss, 63-61. Oregon and Arizona will both look to play better basketball and secure a win for themselves when they face off on Sunday.
Oregon has scored fewer than 80 points in two games — versus Louisville and Arizona State — both of which ended in losses. The Ducks simply failed to close out the game against the Sun Devils, shooting 29 percent from the field in the fourth quarter after shooting 57.8 percent in the first three quarters. Also uncharacteristic of Oregon was a 5-of-18 shooting performance from beyond the arc.
Arizona forced Oregon State into 19 turnovers, which led to 23 points, and was able to stick around all game. However, a Beavers basket in the final moments of regulation handed the Wildcats the loss. Arizona outscored Oregon State 32-22 in the paint.
How they match up
Sabrina Ionescu and Ruthy Hebard lead one of the best offenses in the country, leading the nation with 87.6 points per contest. Ionescu is a threat to record a triple-double every night, averaging 16.2 points, 9.1 rebounds, and 8.5 assists this season. Hebard leads the Ducks with 16.7 points and 9.5 rebounds.
Aari McDonald will be the player to watch for Arizona. McDonald scored 15 points in the Wildcats’ most recent loss, but she will hope to shoot better than 6-of-21, as happened against Oregon State. The player who will be charged with guarding Hebard will likely be Cate Reese, who averages 14.3 points and 8.8 rebounds.
Oregon committed 17 turnovers in its last game and, as mentioned, Arizona forced a lot of turnovers in its last game. If Arizona can force turnovers and keep the game low-scoring, it might have chance to hand Oregon another loss. However, if Oregon limits the turnovers gets back to its sharp-shooting ways, the Ducks will seal another win and start preparing for No. 5 Stanford.
No. 18 Arizona Wildcats vs. No. 2 Oregon Ducks
When: Sunday, Jan. 12, at 2 p.m. ET
Where: McKale Center, Tuscon, AZ
How to watch/listen: Pac-12 Network, TuneIn