Mountain Schools Travel to Oregon (Oregon 2-0, Oregon State 1-1, Colorado 1-1, Utah 0-2)
The Utah Utes, coming off of a sweep of the woeful Washington schools, were brought back down to Earth by the Oregon Ducks by way of a 79-61 thrashing. Oregon dominated this contest from start to finish as they established a 16-point halftime-lead. The Ducks were hot offensively and managed to severely stifle Utah’s offense by holding them to 38.2 percent shooting from the field, and just 3 of 19 from downtown. Jordan Bell, Dillon Brooks, and Tyler Dorsey combined to score 53 of 79 Oregon points. Bell tallied 17 points on 7 of 8 shooting, while Brooks notched 20 points on 9 of 13 from the field, and Dorsey scored 16 points on 6 of 11 shooting. Utes’ bench player Jayce Johnson led Utah with 14 points and 12 rebounds in just 19 minutes of playing time. He made 7 of 9 field goals.
The Colorado Buffaloes taking on the Oregon State Beavers was a meeting of opposites. The Buffs are one of the hottest teams in the conference since starting Pac-12 play as losers of their first six games, while the Beavers remained winless in conference play. Oregon State held a slim halftime lead, but Colorado’s duo of Xavier Johnson and Derrick White made sure Colorado avoided an embarrassing defeat. Johnson notched 17 points, 4 rebounds, 2 steals and a block, while White scored a game-high 20 points on 7 of 11 shooting. Oregon State’s Drew Eubanks scored 14 points on 7 shots to go along with 8 rebounds and 4 blocks in a 60-52 loss.
The Buffs then took aim at pulling off another stunning upset of the Ducks, this time in Eugene, but Oregon would have none of it in a 101-73 demolition that stopped Colorado’s hot streak in its tracks. The Ducks shot a scorching hot 57.6 percent from the field and 55.2 percent from three-point range. Brooks scored 23 points, while Ennis added 20. The Ducks got great bench production from Chris Boucher as he tallied 18 points, 7 rebounds, and 2 blocks on 6 of 7 from the field. King led the Buffs with 18 points on 7 of 10 shooting.
The Utes continued their slide out of the NCAA Tournament bubble watch with a horrendous 68-67 loss to the Beavers. Stephen Thompson Jr. scored 31 points on 11 of 17 shooting to carry Oregon State to its first conference victory of the season, and just its fifth win overall. The next highest scorer for Oregon State was Drew Eubanks with 12 points. Kyle Kuzma led the way for Utah with 19 points and nine rebounds, but he also committed a game-high 7 turnovers. Utah led the game 54-41 with 9:53 remaining, which makes the fact that Oregon State won all the more unbelievable. The lead was still double-digits as Utah led 60-50 with 4:58 left to play. Devon Daniels made two free-throws with 3:23 to go to put Utah up 63-54, and that’s when Oregon State went on a run. With 1:39 remaining, Thompson Jr. made a three-pointer to pull within one point of the Utes. Kuzma turned the ball over before Jaquori McLaughlin made the second of two free throws to tie the game with 54 seconds left. Coming out of a timeout Kuzma drained a three-pointer with 36 seconds left to take a 67-64 lead. Thompson Jr. responded with a layup to pull within one, before Utah would commit another turnover. Thompson Jr. then put the Beavers up by one point with 11 seconds left. Lorenzo Bonam would turn it over and commit a foul to essentially end the game.
Arizona Schools Travel to Washington (Arizona 2-0, Arizona State 1-1, Washington State 1-1, Washington 0-2)
The Arizona Wildcats continued their march towards the conference championship and a potential number-one seed by taking care of business against the Washington State Cougars 78-59. Parker Jackson-Cartwright led the Wildcats with 20 points, while Lauri Markkanen added 19 points and 11 rebounds. Ike Iroegbu led the Cougs with 17 points.
The Arizona State Sun Devils won a close matchup with the Washington Huskies 83-81 to win consecutive conference games for the first time this season. Torian Graham poured in 29 points for the Sun Devils, while Tra Holder added 21 points. Markelle Fultz scored 19 points on 7 of 16 shooting, to go along with 4 assists, 2 steals and 4 turnovers in his return to the court after missing two games. Carlos Johnson added 19 points and 12 rebounds.
The struggling Huskies were surprisingly competitive against the Wildcats, but, nonetheless, fell 76-68. The Huskies had no answer for Markkanen as he notched 26 points and 13 rebounds, while Allonzo Trier added 21 points due to 4 of 5 shooting from beyond the arc. Fultz tried his best to steal a stunning upset with 26 points and 6 assists.
Arizona State, seeking to win a third consecutive conference game, got off to a fast start against Washington State, but could not keep the momentum going as the Cougars blew their doors off in the second half. The Cougars shot a ridiculous 59.3 percent from the field for the entire game. Josh Hawkinson scored 14 points on 6 of 8 shooting to go along with 15 rebounds, 5 assists, and 2 blocks. Conor Clifford scored 19 points on 9 of 12 shooting as the Sun Devils had no answer to defending the post. Shannon Evans III led the Sun Deivls with 21 ponits, while Graham added 18. Holder struggled, though, as he scored 10 points on 3 of 10 from the field.
Battle of the Bay
Ugh. The California Golden Bears suffered a blow to their hopes of making the NCAA Tournament as the Stanford Cardinal won 73-68. The Bears started the game hot and lead 19-7, but foul trouble and turnovers would contribute to the eventual loss. Ivan Rabb notched another double-double with 16 points and 13 rebounds, while Jabari Bird poured in 23 points on 7 of 12 from downtown. Grant Mullins continued his hot shooting from three-point range with 12 points on 4 of 8 from deep. Charlie Moore struggled shooting the ball in his first game since suffering a hip injury against Arizona, making just 3 of 13 shot attempts. The Bears committed 20 turnovers and shot just 10 free throws, making only three the entire game. The Cardinal, on the other hand, made 29 of 40 free throws, while committing just 11 turnovers. Dorian Pickens led the Cardinal with 23 points, while Reid Travis added 19 points and 9 rebounds. This was a very bad, very avoidable loss for the Bears and it could prove the difference between the NCAA Tournament and an NIT berth.
Battle of Los Angeles
The USC Trojans stuck around for a little while in the first half before the UCLA Bruins took complete control and handed them a 102-70 beatdown. Bennie Boatwright scored 20 points and added 10 rebounds, but shot just 4 of 12 from the field. Chimezie Metu scored 14 points on 6 of 12 shooting. The Trojans shot just 33.8 percent from the field. Bryce Alford led the Bruins with 26 points, 6 assists and 0 turnovers. TJ Leaf added 19 points and 8 rebounds, while Thomas Welsh made 8 out of 10 shots for 16 points and 16 rebounds. Lonzo Ball scored 15 points, dished out 8 assists and pulled down 8 rebounds.
Arizona 14-1, 25-3
Oregon 13-2, 24-4
UCLA 11-3, 24-3
California 9-5, 18-8
USC 8-6, 21-6
Utah 8-7, 17-10
Colorado 6-9, 16-12
Arizona State 6-9, 13-15
Stanford 5-9, 13-13
Washington State 5-10, 12-15
Washington 2-13, 9-18
Oregon State 1-14, 5-23
Oregon at California, Wednesday at 6 p.m. on ESPN2
Oregon State at Stanford, Wednesday at 8 p.m. on ESPNU
UCLA at Arizona State, Thursday at 6 p.m. on ESPN2
USC at Arizona, Thursday at 7 p.m. on Pac-12 Network
Utah at Colorado, Thursday at 8 p.m. on ESPNU
Oregon State at California, Friday at 7 p.m. on Fox Sports 1
Oregon at Stanford, Saturday at 1 p.m. on Pac-12 Network
UCLA at Arizona, Saturday at 5:15 on ESPN
USC at Arizona State, Sunday at 3:30 on Pac-12 Network
Washington at Washington State, Sunday at 5:30 on ESPNU