Brooks, Oregon end Arizona’s 49-game home win streak
TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) — Arizona’s 49-game home winning streak is history.
The Oregon Ducks became the first team to win in Tucson in three years with an 83-75 victory Thursday night, pulling away in the final 6 ½ minutes.
Dillon Brooks scored 24 points and the No. 23 Ducks used a zone defense to befuddle the 18th-ranked Wildcats. Oregon (17-4, 6-2 Pac-12) won for the sixth time in seven games.
Dwayne Benjamin added 15, Elgin Cook 13 and Tyler Dorsey 12 for the Ducks (17-4, 6-2 Pac-12), who remained tied for first with Washington in the Pac-12.
Ryan Anderson scored 22 and Gabe York 18 for the Wildcats (16-5, 4-4), who lost at home for the first time since California beat them 77-69 on Feb. 10, 2013.
“I just want to say that on behalf of the team,” Anderson said, “we apologize to the fans, players, coaches, all the guys that put work into the streak.”
It was the longest active home winning streak in the country.
“I mean, 49 games is unbelievable,” said Oregon coach Dana Altman, whose team lost at Arizona 90-56 last season. “Our program, we’ve been chasing Arizona, and we still are. This is the program that’s setting the standard right now in the Pac-12. It’s not even debatable.”
The Ducks outscored Arizona 19-11 over the final 6 ½ minutes.
“These last two games, we haven’t lived up to the standards that is held here at Arizona,” said Anderson, whose team was coming off a loss at Cal, “especially effort-wise and paying attention to detail.”
The Wildcats committed 19 turnovers to Oregon’s six.
“We got 21 more shots because of the turnovers,” Altman said, “so our activity through the traps caused them some problems.”
Arizona coach Sean Miller praised the Ducks effort.
“They are a hard-playing unit, together as a team,” he said, “and they love each other. You can tell they care a lot about their university and they care a lot about their program. You can kind of feel that they’re playing for a cause and that cause is to win.”
Trailing 42-41 at the half, Oregon took its first lead of the night on Cook’s 3 with 16:08 to play. It was part of a 10-0 Ducks run that was capped by Benjamin’s 3-pointer, boosting the lead to 52-46 with 15:30 to go.
Arizona’s Parker-Jackson Cartwright sank a 3-pointer from the baseline to tie it at 64-64 with 7:25 to play, but the Ducks scored the next eight points. Benjamin was fouled on a 3-point try and made all three free throws, then Brooks sank his second 3-pointer and Oregon led 72-64 with 4:47 to play.
“I worked on that shot a lot,” Brooks said. “I was shooting it bad in non-conference (games). I worked on it, worked on it, worked on it and it paid off tonight.”
The usually boisterous McKale Center crowd fell silent.
“It’s an amazing feeling,” Brooks said, “especially when you see their fans leaving, too.”
The Wildcats led the entire first half. They made their first eight shots to bolt to an 18-7 lead and were up 26-13 after Parker Jackson-Cartwright sank a 3-pointer with 11:24 left in the half.
After watching the Wildcats make 10 of their first 11 shots, Altman had seen enough of his team’s man-to-man defense and switched to a trapping zone.
And the Ducks climbed back in it.
Kaleb Tarczewski’s two free throws put Arizona up 42-36 1:25 before the break.
But Benson followed with a 3-pointer to make it 42-39 1:02 left .
After the teams exchanged possessions, Oregon had an out-of-bounds play with 2.1 seconds left and Dorsey broke free for a layup at the buzzer to cut Arizona’s lead to 42-41 at the break.
It was the only time the teams will play in the regular season.
“The program history speaks for itself,” Miller said, “and McKale is just an amazing place. Nothing about that atmosphere was a part of our game tonight.”
Oregon: The Ducks were coming off a home sweep of USC and UCLA and a win at Utah. ... The victory guaranteed Altman his 19th consecutive winning season. ... The Ducks’ 140 victories over the past six seasons are their most in a six-year span in school history. ... Brooks has reached double figures in 15 of the last 16 games.
Arizona: Miller was denied his 300th college coaching victory. ... Anderson scored 16 in the first half.