- Associated Press - Sunday, February 9, 2014

TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) - Oregon State rallied in the second half of its previous game behind Roberto Nelson.

With their leading scorer unable to shake Arizona’s defenders, though, the Beavers had little chance of a repeat performance.

Oregon State dug itself a double-digit hole by halftime and Nelson struggled against No. 2 Arizona’s pressure all night, sending the Beavers to a 76-54 loss on Sunday.

“It’s disappointing that we didn’t play better, especially since we have been playing better,” Oregon State coach Craig Robinson said. “I don’t think we came out with our best effort and I want to take the blame for that.”

Arizona looked hesitant against Oregon on Thursday night, its first game since forward Brandon Ashley went out for the season with a right foot injury.

The Wildcats (23-1, 10-1 Pac-12) had no such trouble against Oregon State, finding answers for their shooting woes while dominating in nearly every aspect.

Arizona shot 50 percent for the first time in six games, had a 40-12 advantage in the paint and 15 assists with eight turnovers. The Wildcats also outrebounded the Beavers 39-24, including a 15-4 advantage on the offensive glass that led to 13 points.

Aaron Gordon led Arizona with 17 points and fellow freshman Rondae Hollis-Jefferson provided his usual hustling spark while scoring 16.

T.J. McConnell added 11 points, six rebounds and six assists for the Wildcats, who bounced back from their grinding victory over the Ducks with an excellent all-around effort for their 30th win in the last 31 games against the Beavers at McKale Center.

“We played well tonight,” McConnell said. “We were clicking on offense and I felt like we were playing well on defense.”

They sure were, particularly against Nelson.

The Beavers (13-10, 5-6) came back against Arizona State on Thursday behind Nelson, but had little chance against the athletic Wildcats, unable to spring him or chip away at Arizona’s 10-point halftime lead.

The nation’s 10th-leading scorer, Nelson was held to 10 points - 12 below his average - on 3-of-12 shooting. The rest of the Beavers did little to pick up the slack, shooting 8 of 24 in the second half and 39 percent overall to get swept on their desert road trip.

“There are always positives to take away from weekends like this,” said Angus Brandt, who led the Beavers with 14 points. “We are going to go to the film room and figure out what we did wrong and take it into practice next week.”

Shooting has been Arizona’s problem in recent weeks.

Story Continues →