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Arizona 76, Oregon State 63: A tale of two halves

Oregon State controlled the tempo and held Arizona to only 26 points in the first half. In that first half, OSU gave Beaver Nation something to be proud of. They gave us reason to believe that they could hang around with big time teams. However, in the second half, the floodgates opened for the Wildcats and they dropped 50 points on the Beavs in one half. And Oregon State stopped playing like a team. They played like individuals trying to force every pass and shot. Arizona had seven more assists than Oregon State in the game. Which doesn't sound like much. But assuming every one of those baskets is a two point field goal, it adds up to fourteen points. The Beavers lost by thirteen.

Through the first thirteen games, Oregon State has established that they're a 60-point team. Thirty points in the first half, thirty in the second. The only way they can win games, especially during conference play, is to hold teams in the 60 point range. The Beavers were on pace to do that in the first half, and in the first half of the second half, but Arizona ran away with the game towards the end, and Oregon State couldn't match them basket for basket.

Omari Johnson was the brightest star in the sky tonight. Omari, after missing the first several games with a facial injury, scored 19 points. He started in place of and took over for C.J. Giles (we'll get to that later) and led the team in rebounds with nine.

For Arizona, they were led by the Chase Budinger and Jordan Hill show. Budinger had a hard time getting started, and most of his points early in the game came from the free throw line. However, he started to drop shots once Arizona gained control late in the second half. Jordan Hill also scored 20, and was hard to handle for Roeland Schaftenaar and everyone else who guarded him. Hill had 14 rebounds to go along with the 20 points, a double double.

It's clear where Arizona's strength is-- although they're missing their freshman phenom Jerryd Bayless, interim coach Kevin O'Neill stuck with a four man nucleus the whole game. Four players-- Chase Budinger, Nick Wise, Jordan Hill, and Jawann McClellan-- played 36 minutes or more. Forward Bret Brielmeier played 25 minutes and Daniel Dillon played 17, but other than that, only two other players saw the court, and that was for six minutes or less.

Just imagine how good this team could be with another 20 point per game threat. With that many weapons, someone is bound to be having a good night, even if everyone else can't get their shots to fall.

So, CJ, CJ, CJ. Missed practice, eh? What are we supposed to think of you? You come in here from Kansas, and you make us believe that you have your head screwed on straight. Then there are some academic questions, but you get through that. Then you sit out a half for missing a team weightlifting session. And now your benched for a Pac-10 conference game because you missed a practice?

What are we supposed to be thinking of you right now? What kind of performances are you going to put on for the second half of the season? What about next year?

What are we supposed to expect with you, C.J.? Should we just forget that you ever existed? Or give you a second/third/fourth chance?

Here is tonight's boxscore:

The participation report:

College Basketball Stats by

And the game stats:

College Basketball Stats by

Notice how close the two teams were in almost everything except for free throws and three pointers.

Arizona State is next. They just knocked off the Ducks tonight.