Arizona point guard James Akinjo and wingman Bennedict Mathurin both tallied 14 points a piece as the Wildcats outlasted the Beavers on Thursday night, 70-61.
The game overall was a quirky one, that saw the Beavers turn the ball over 5 times compared to Arizona’s 13 giveaways, but yet nearly be doubled in assists and owned by a significant margin (47-34) on the glass. These statistical anomalies, combined with the fact that Oregon State was whistled for 26 fouls compared to just 12 for the Wildcats, gave the game an uneven flow.
Even with all that being said, the Beavers hung around for most of the affair, but eventually, the lingering difference of ease from the charity stripe proved to be fatal. Arizona knocked down 23 of their 34 free-throw attempts, accounting for just under a third of their points. Oregon State took just 10 attempts from the free-throw line, converting on 6 of them, with no player attempting more than two shots.
Regardless of the unique emotions surrounding those suspicious circumstances, the Beavers simply needed more help around guards Ethan Thompson and Jarod Lucas, who both finished with 13 points.
While sparkplug Gianni Hunt was a surprise off the bench with 12 points on a 5-10 day from the field and forward Warith Alatishe added a strong 10 points and 6 boards, quiet outings from pieces like Roman Silva, Zach Reichle and Maurice Calloo, who were so crucial in Oregon State’s stretch of better play, didn’t help.
The Wildcats were the team that just did more.
With the defeat, the Beavers now fall to 10-9 overall on the season and sit at 6-7 in the Pac-12 picture, a half-game behind Utah for 7th place.
Up Next: Oregon State will try to stop the bleeding as they visit Arizona State on Sunday, February 14th for a Valentine’s Day clash. Tip-off is set for 4:00 PM PT and the game will be televised nationally on ESPN2.