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Game 28 Open Thread: Oregon State @ Arizona

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Oregon State (10-17, 5-11) at Arizona (23-6, 12-4) - 6:00 PM (PST) - McKale Center - FSN

The Arizona Wildcats take on Oregon State in the next to last regular season game for the Beavers.

It's the Beavers and Wildcats second meeting of the year. The Beavers took the first game 76-75 back on January 2nd.

Both teams come into the game off blowout losses last Saturday.

The Wildcats, who came into Los Angeles ranked #10 in the nation, were upset by USC on Thursday night, and then fell 71-49 against the UCLA Bruins on Saturday. This two losses dropped Arizona to #18 in this week's Top 25 poll, and now they are tied for first in the Pac-10 with the Bruins. UCLA is at Washington tonight.

Derrick Williams led just two Arizona players in double figures Saturday afternoon with 15 points. Kyle Fogg followed him with 10 points and four rebounds.

Last Saturday in Corvallis, the Beavers got off to a great start, leading by as many as 14 in the first half, and they took a 44-38 advantage into the locker room. But old habits that seemed to be forgotten in Thursday's win against Stanford crept back into Gill Coliseum, as California erupted for 49 second half points en route to a 87-76 victory.

Freshman Ahmad Starks led three Beavers in double digits with 18 points, followed by Jared Cunningham who added 14. Omari Johnson, playing his final game in Gill Coliseum, was the final player in double digits with ten. Calvin Haynes led the other three seniors with 9 points, followed by Lathen Wallace with 6 and Daniel Deane with 2.

In the Beavers and Wildcats previous meeting, Calvin Haynes led four Oregon State players in double digits with 18 points. Jared Cunningham followed him with 17 points, including a "Kiss the Sky" dunk that brought the Beavers some national attention.

Arizona had three players in double figures, led by Lamont "Momo" Jones with 20 points. The other two players in double figures were Derrick Williams (16 points) and Klye Fogg (10 points).

It was arguably Oregon State's best victory of the season, as Arizona would climb to as high a #10 in the nation later in the year. However, the two teams went in opposite directions after the January 2nd meeting. Oregon State would go on to lose six of their next seven, while Arizona would go on to win eleven of their next twelve.

The key was holding Williams relatively quiet in the second half, but that in turn gave "Momo" Jones some open shots, most of which he made. But the Wildcats were not able to make many clutch jumpers down the stretch, leaving the door open for an Oregon State upset.

Oregon St., and especially their zone defense, has been a thorn in the side of Arizona, as January's win extended the Beavers' win streak against the Wildcats to three games, after sweeping the 'Cats last season.

The key for the Beavers in this one will be to keep their shooting percentage at where it's been in the previous two games. If they can do that, and 1-3-1 trap is effective, then the Beavers might be able to get out of Tucson with another upset. Arizona is not what most consider a dominant inside team, even when Williams is at his best.

Keep in mind that Arizona has a lot more to think about then just winning a basketball game, as this game and the UCLA-Washington game tonight will most likely decide the Pac-10 Championship. This might make UA tight and nervous out of the gate, which might be the lone advantage that Oregon State has in this one.

For a Wildcats perspective, head over to Arizona Desert Swarm.

Go Beavers!

ConnorOSU@gmail.com

(Andy_Panda also contributed to this story.)