Arizona Basketball

Freshmen Gordon and Hollis-Jefferson lead Arizona Wildcats to victory

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PAC-12 STANDINGS
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Arizona’s freshman McDonald’s All-Americans — Aaron Gordon and Rondae Hollis-Jefferson — were too much for a decent Oregon State team to handle.

The youngsters brought some vigor back to the Wildcats in the 76-54 rout of the Beavers, who were swept by the Arizona schools after entering the Pac-12’s second half of the season with a 5-4 record, their first winning mark at that point since 1999.

Hollis-Jefferson, off his first career double-double in Thursday’s win over Oregon, tallied a career-best 16 points against Oregon State at McKale Center. Former Chicago Bulls great Scottie Pippen was at the game. He attended the UCLA-USC game Saturday night.

Gordon broke out of a personal shooting slump with an 8-of-12 performance from the field. He finished with 17 points and five rebounds. Gordon was averaging only 6.3 points in his previous three games while shooting 8-of-29 from the field.

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Arizona point guard T.J. McConnell had 11 points, six rebounds and six assists with only one turnover. McConnell has 13 assists and only three turnovers in his last four games.

Nick Johnson is now 0 for his last 12 three-point attempts but finished with 10 points and played solid defense on Oregon State leading scorer Roberto Nelson.

Nelson finished with only 10 points, 12 points below his average. He made only 3 of 12 from the field, including 0-for-3 from three-point range.

With the victory, Arizona improves to 23-1 overall and 10-1 in the Pac-12. UCLA (18-5 and 7-3) is in second place, 2 1/2 games behind the Wildcats. The Wildcats’ magic number to clinch the regular-season title stands at 5 with seven games remaining.

WILDABOUTAZCATS.net publisher, writer and editor Javier Morales is a former Arizona Press Club award winner. He also writes articles for Bleacher Report, Lindy’s College Sports and TucsonCitizen.com.

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