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Wednesday, November 26, 2014         

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Defense carries Arizona

By Associated Press

POSTED:


TUCSON, Ariz. >> Arizona’s offense was disjointed, the shots weren’t falling, the free throws clanging one after another.

Playing without injured forward Brandon Ashley for the first time, the second-ranked Wildcats looked out of sorts on the offensive end, leaving them in jeopardy of their first losing streak of the season.

Good thing they know how to play defense, particularly when the game is on the line.

Digging in over the closing minutes, Arizona overcame a rough shooting night to win in their first game without Ashley, grinding out a 67-65 victory over Oregon on Thursday night.

“Our defense down the stretch is what we rely on,” said Nick Johnson, who led Arizona with 18 points. “We have all year.”

The Wildcats needed it against Oregon.

Coming off its first loss of the season, Arizona (22-1, 9-1 Pac-12) labored offensively without Ashley, who is out for the season with a foot injury suffered last Saturday in a loss at California.

The Wildcats went 4-for-16 from 3-point range, missed 16 free throws and had a tough time even getting into their set plays.

Oregon (15-7, 3-7) had a couple of key turnovers late and missed three of four free throws while shooting toward the raucous Arizona student section in the final 23 seconds.

Joseph Young and Jason Calliste had 14 points each for the Ducks.

NO. 9 MICHIGAN STATE 82, PENN STATE 67

CINCINNATI >> Sean Kilpatrick scored 26 points, and Justin Jackson led a second-half surge as the Bearcats (22-2, 11-0 American Athletic) won their 15th straight by beating the Huskies (17-5, 5-4).

Shabazz Napier scored 16 points for UConn.

NO. 9 MICHIGAN STATE 82, PENN STATE 67

EAST LANSING, Mich. >> Adreian Payne scored 12 points in his return from a foot injury, and the Spartans (20-3, 9-1 Big Ten) topped the Nittany Lions (12-11, 3-7).

Payne hadn’t played since Jan. 7 because of a sprained foot. Although he didn’t start Thursday, he played 18 minutes, going 5-for-9 from the field.

BIG WEST CONFERENCE

UC IRVINE 61, LONG BEACH STATE 58

IRVINE, Calif. >> Luke Nelson scored a career-high 28 points and the Anteaters (15-9, 6-2) held off the 49ers (9-13, 5-3).

UC DAVIS 90, CAL STATE NORTHRIDGE 86, OT

DAVIS, Calif. >> Georgi Funtarov hit a 3-pointer with 7.2 seconds left in overtime to break a tie and lead the Aggies (8-15, 3-5) over the Matadors (11-13, 3-6).

UC RIVERSIDE 72, CAL STATE FULLERTON 69

RIVERSIDE, Calif. >> Sam Finley scored 13 points while Chris Patton added 12 with 12 rebounds and six assists as the Highlanders (8-14, 3-5) edged the Titans (7-14, 2-5).






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