More than five years after leaving the UA for an NFL career, Earl Mitchell returns to campus...
Arizona Men's Basketball to Host Oregon State
Game 17: Arizona (11-5, 2-1) vs. Oregon State (11-5, 1-3)
Arizona (11-5, 2-1 Pac-12) will return to the comfortable confines of McKale Memorial Center on Jan. 12 to host Oregon State (11-5, 1-3 Pac-12).
The UA will look to build a bit of momentum as four of the next six games are at home. In nine previous home games, the Wildcats are averaging 71.0 points per game, outrebounding opponents by 7.2 boards per game and limiting foes to a 38.9 (190-of-489) field goal percentage and just 57.4 points per game.
Arizona (7.2) and Oregon State (6.9) rank 1-2 in the Pac-12 in three-point field goals made per game.
An interesting sidebar to the game could simply be tempo. Both teams will come in with identical 11-5 records, and while Oregon State is the Pac-12's top-scoring team at 84.4 points per game, the Beavers have surrendered an average of 91.0 ppg in their four conference games.
In the Sean Miller era, Arizona is 24-0 when scoring more than 80 points.
On the year, Oregon State averages 84.4 points, shoots 49.6 percent from the floor (467-of-942), 37.1 percent (111-of-299) from three-point range and 69.3 percent (305-of-440) from the line. Opponents average 71.4 points, are outrebounded by 1.1 boards per game and shoot 43.5 percent from the floor (405-of-931).
Individually, five OSU players average in double-figures, led by Jared Cunningham's 17.6 ppg average. Eric Moreland leads the Beavers with a 6.8 rebounds per game average.
Thursday's game will be the 74th meeting of OSU and the UA, with Arizona holding a 53-20 series advantage. The UA has won 20 of the last 25 meetings in the series, which dates back to Jan. 28, 1975, including the last, 78-69, on March 10, 2011 in Los Angeles in the Pac-10 Tournament quarterfinals.
All-time, Arizona is 29-6 in series games played in Tucson, 20-14 in Corvallis, and 4-0 in neutral-site games.
On Jan. 8, in a game in which Arizona never trailed, the Wildcats limited USC to 29 percent shooting and outrebounded the Trojans, 38-32, in picking up a 57-46 win in Los Angeles.
The UA jumped out to a 6-0 lead and never looked back, holding USC to 6-of-29 shooting and 16 points in the first half. Jesse Perry scored 12 of his game-high 20 points in the second half, while Solomon Hill collected his third consecutive double-double and Kyle Fogg added 10 points and two blocks.
It was Arizona's first win in the Galen Center since January 2008.
A quick look at the statistics from last week's games shows that the Wildcats put forth a solid defensive effort while in Southern California, combining to limit the UCLA Bruins and Trojans to an average of 55.5 points and a .363 (41-of-113) field goal percentage.
Arizona held USC to just 46 points in Sunday's win, the second-lowest defensive output by an opponent this season. The defensive effort dropped the UA's scoring defense figure to 62.0 points through 16 games, which would be the lowest figure for the program since 1984-85 (60.3 ppg).
The Wildcats next will be in action on Jan. 14, when the UA hosts Oregon. Tip-off in McKale Center is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. MST and can be seen nationally on CBS-TV.