Arizona Basketball

Daredevil Devonaire gives Arizona a gritty win over OSU

Devonaire Doutrive will now go down in the lore of Arizona basketball as one of its late-game killers.

Mr. Big Shot. The Daredevil Devonaire.

Much like Salim Stoudamire when he hit a 25-foot jumper over Aron Afflalo in 2005 for a 76-73 win over UCLA in McKale Center.

Like Michael Wright hit a last second shot in a rumbling Maples Pavilion in a 76-75 in 2001.

Miles Simon’s 3/4-court heave to beat Cincinnati at the buzzer in 1996.

Craig McMillan’s McShot in the early years of Lute Olson, beating the Oregon State in 1986, on a last-second miracle.

Like Khalid Reeves did in Maples as well traveling coast to coast in a win over Stanford in 1992 in the final seconds.

Momo Jones’ heroics in a triple overtime 107-105 win over California in 2011.

Throughout the years in Arizona’s storied basketball life over the last three-plus decades, Arizona players have found a way. Of course, sometimes it hasn’t worked, but it happens more than not.

Thursday night in Corvallis, Oregon, the Wildcats found a way to win 74-72 in what may be the grittiest win under Sean Miller. And it came from Doutrive, the seldom-used freshman who has shown signs of amazement throughout the season.

One – actually a few – came in Gil Coliseum in Arizona’s ?? win.

The put-back basket with under a second left gave UA its third consecutive win and its seventh straight over the Beavers.

“Devonaire has made that offensive rebound his baby,” said UA assistant coach Justin Gainey, speaking on the team’s postgame radio show. “He takes pride in it, we take pride in it. Devonaire has been relentless all year crashing the glass. The last one was bigtime.”

Wow, isn’t even the proper word to use.

“My objective is to just go get the basketball,” Doutrive said, in talking to Arizona Daily Star’s Bruce Pascoe. “They came up and that’s what I did …
“When the ball came off the rim, I looked at the rim, I was like, ‘this is it.’”

It, indeed.

Figure that Arizona played – and survived – under tremendous adversity … thus the gritty, gutty win.

Chase Jeter went down in the second half with an apparent knee injury and missed some key minutes. He attempted to come back but was removed shortly after reporting back.

Freshman Brandon Williams fouled out late in the game, with Arizona needing some offensive punch, surely, he could have provided. Ryan Luther fouled out late in the game. Arizona, already playing with a small margin for error because of its little depth, had little to left to go with. Small ball was Arizona’s game plan because it, well, had no other choice.

“We played through a lot, for sure,” Miller said.

In stepped Doutrive to have a game to remember. He was all but perfect, going 4 for 4 from the floor, including a 3-pointer. He had a career-high nine points. He added five rebounds.

Doutrive, a player who went into the game averaging just 10.6 minutes a game and averaging 3.3 points and 2.8 rebounds a game, proved to be one of the biggest pieces in Arizona’s win.

Yet, all things considered Miller told Pascoe, Doutrive is “our best offensive rebounder statistically” and in fact, that’s how he established most of his playing time because he has been very good at that. As Miller said, “he makes things happen.”

He did Thursday night in front of a stunned Beavers’ crowd.

He had a spectacular offensive put-back with his left hand that kept Arizona in the game. And, well, he played beyond his years despite not playing all that much this season. He also hit a big 3-pointer in the right corner that kept Arizona close.

“He’s come a long way from where he was with his shooting when he first checked into school last summer,” Miller said.

And now, Arizona is on a three-game roll and is 17-12 overall and 8-8 in Pac-12 play.

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