Oregon hands No. 4 Arizona first loss, 70-66

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EUGENE — E.J. Singler scored 14 points and Oregon overcame a slow start to beat No. 4 Arizona 70-66 on Thursday night, handing the Wildcats their first loss of the season.

Dominic Artis, Carlos Emory and Tony Woods had 10 points apiece for the Ducks (13-2, 2-0 Pac-12), who have won 17 straight home games, including all 11 this season.

Mark Lyons scored 21 and Solomon Hill added 16 points to lead the Wildcats (14-1, 2-1), who entered as one of three undefeated teams in the country.

It appeared they were going to stay that way when the Wildcats jumped out to an 11-0 lead. But it was all Oregon from there, as the Ducks outscored Arizona 41-19 the rest of the first half to lead 41-30 at the break.

Arizona trimmed its deficit to 48-42 early in the second half but got no closer until Lyons made a 3-pointer with 1:18 to play that made it 67-63.

A 3-pointer by Arizona’s Nick Johnson with 50 seconds remaining made it 69-66, but Johnathan Loyd hit a free throw with 9.2 seconds left to seal the win for Oregon.

It was the Ducks’ second win against a ranked team this season. They beat No. 24 UNLV in November.

It also was the Wildcats’ first game at Matthew Knight Arena, which opened almost two years ago.

Arizona started the game with consecutive 3-pointers by Kevin Parrom, but Emory began Oregon’s comeback with its first basket on a bank shot with 16:37 remaining in the first half. Minutes later, Loyd capped a 16-2 run with a steal and layup to put the Ducks up 16-13 with 13:16 to play.

A 3-pointer by Jordin Mayes and a three-point play by Brandon Ashley put Arizona back on top 25-20 at the 9:09 mark.

But the Wildcats couldn’t stop Oregon, which ended the half on a 21-5 run that included six points by Woods, including an emphatic, two-handed dunk that ignited the season-high crowd of 9,544.

Comebacks, however, are nothing new for this Arizona team, which rallied from a 17-point deficit to beat Colorado in overtime a week earlier.

After Damyean Dotson put the Ducks up 44-30 with a 3-pointer to open the second half, the Wildcats went to work with Hill, Parrom and Lyons attacking the basket during a 12-4 run that cut Oregon’s lead to 48-42 with 17:11 to play.

The Ducks extended their lead back into double digits when Singler made a 3 with 6:46 left to put them up 63-52.

That was the Ducks’ last field goal of the game. They held off Arizona’s final rally by going 7 for 9 from the free throw line.

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