Arizona Wildcats vs. Oregon St. Beavers Pick & Prediction JANUARY 12th 2023

Stadium: Gill Coliseum Corvallis
Logo Arizona Wildcats
VS
Logo Oregon St. Beavers
0
OPENER
145

-15.5 -105
CURRENT
143.5o -110

-1391
MONEYLINE
+824

86
SCORE
74

No. 9 Arizona will be looking for answers -- and its offense -- when it plays Oregon State on Thursday night in Corvallis, Ore.

The Wildcats (14-2, 3-2 Pac-12) are coming off a shocking 74-61 loss to Washington State that ended their 28-game home winning streak and continued a troubling trend in conference play. Their four lowest-scoring games of the season have come against Pac-12 opponents.

Keep in mind that Arizona led the country in scoring in mid-December and was second in field-goal percentage heading into the new year.

But in its past 100 minutes of action -- starting at halftime at Arizona State and continuing through home matchups vs. Washington and Washington State -- Arizona is shooting 32.9 percent (51 of 155).

"No one's guaranteed victory or success," said Wildcats coach Tommy Lloyd. "We have to go out and fight for who we want to be every single game. ... We're a high character program. I love these players. And we've got to solve how to bounce back from this."

Arizona will try to do so against young Oregon State (7-9, 1-4), which is 7-1 at home, including a one-point victory over Washington on Dec. 1. Freshmen have accounted for more than 40 percent of Oregon State's minutes played this season. That includes Jordan Pope, who is averaging a team-high 12.3 points and is the team's most prolific 3-point shooter (27 of 69, 39.1 percent).

Pope, however, was pulled from the starting lineup Saturday in an ugly 62-42 loss at Colorado. He ended up scoring five points in 29 minutes.

"We had to do something because we're not playing with the toughness we needed to. So as a staff we said, 'Let's try to find our toughest group,'" said OSU coach Wayne Tinkle. "We're going to keep searching until we find a group that will start the way we need to offensively and defensively."

Mostly, the Beavers will try to control Arizona by slowing the pace, stopping transition and making the Wildcats run set offense through their guards, not talented big men Azuolas Tubelis and Oumar Ballo.

For example, starters Kerr Kriisa, Courtney Ramey and Pelle Larsson were 6 of 24 from the field in the loss to the Cougars. It was a similar story in an 81-66 conference loss at Utah on Dec. 1. The three starters combined to make a scant 5 of 27 from the field.

Ramey has scored a total of 10 points in the past three games, hitting 2 of 14 from 3-point range, to drop his season scoring average to 9.8.

"Courtney obviously didn't have a great weekend," Lloyd said after the WSU game, "but I love that guy. And I've got to do a good job of making sure he keeps his confidence high, because we need him to be good for us to be good."

Tubelis is still hot, averaging 20.6 points and 9.1 rebounds. Ballo (16.8, 8.9) wasn't quite himself last week. He was sick and needed to go to the hospital after returning from the ASU game on Dec. 31, Lloyd said. The coach added that Ballo appeared to be back up to speed in practice early this week.

--Field Level Media

PREDICTION
Arizona Wildcats
80
64
Oregon St. Beavers

Arizona Wildcats vs. Oregon St. Beavers Recap JAN 12TH 2023

Azuolas Tubelis had 25 points and 10 rebounds, and two other Arizona players also posted double-doubles, as the No. 9 Wildcats withstood a late Oregon State run for an 86-74 victory on Thursday night in Corvallis, Ore.

Oumar Ballo had 15 points and 14 rebounds for Arizona (15-2, 4-2 Pac-12), while Kerr Kriisa paired his 13 points with 11 assists for his double-double.

The Wildcats drained seven 3-pointers in the first half to help them take control and eventually build a 24-point lead in the second half. But the Beavers (7-10, 1-5), who trailed by double digits for the final 30 minutes, provided a scare by rallying within 72-62 when Jayden Stevens split defenders for a fast-break layup with 5:04 left.

Kriisa answered with a 3-point shot to provide more breathing room, and Ballo later had a nice sequence by blocking a shot and finishing with a fast-break dunk to put Arizona up 79-63 at the 3:41 mark.

Tyler Bilodeau and Michael Rataj paced the Beavers with 18 points apiece. Jordan Pope added 14 points.

Arizona's early 3-point shooting was a significant pick-me-up after the team entered the game having made only 21.3 percent of its attempts (26 of 122) in its first five league games. The Wildcats, who led 44-26 at halftime, finished 11 of 29 from beyond the arc. Seven different Arizona players made a 3-point shot.

Arizona's Courtney Ramey wasn't that far off another double-double (11 points, seven assists).

Kriisa rattled in a 3-pointer on the opening possession of the game to start a 7-0 run. It didn't help Oregon State that burly post player Rodrigue Andela picked up two fouls in the first two minutes and sat until late in the half, when he quickly picked up his third foul.

That took away a potential defensive weapon against big men Ballo and Tubelis, who shot 6 of 7 from the field in the first half en route to 15 points. Arizona had as many 3-point makes in the first half as Oregon State had total baskets.

--Field Level Media