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OR at No. 17 Arizona tops the Pac-12 this week

12 January 2018

Tres Tinkle scored 18 points and grabbed nine rebounds, but Oregon State couldn't hold its lead at 17th-ranked Arizona on Thursday. The Sun Devils are tied atop the conference at 4-0 with the Ducks, who are off to their best conference start since 2000-01.

Allonzo Trier lead Arizona with six points. Now it's time to see how they respond with a pair of hard games this week: At USC on Wednesday and at UCLA on Saturday.

Sophomore guard Payton Pritchard has been Oregon's leading scorer almost all season, but in Pac-12 play he'd struggled before Thursday with 9.3 points per game on 32.1-percent shooting. Arizona, by comparison, is 72.7 per game, which ranks 196th in the country (and fifth in the Pac 12). "He's the most versatile player on our team".

Arizona State wasn't able to take advantage of a big crowd of 13,693 at Wells Fargo Arena, the largest attendance number it's had since 2010. Elijah Brown had 18 points and hit two free throws with 32 seconds left for Oregon.

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However, the pecking order of the conference was thrown out of wack when the previously-undefeated Sun Devils fell to both Arizona and Colorado in consecutive games before defeating Utah in Salt Lake City last weekend. Seniors Shannon Evans II had 19 points in the loss, while Tra Holder chipped in 14.

The Wildcats found their offense in the second half, scoring 41 points in the game's final 20 minutes.

"They're a much improved team, not only from last year to this year, that's obvious, but I think they're a very much improved team from the beginning of the year to now", Miller said.

This year's team is in a similar boat as the 2013-14 one. Colorado is 10th nationally in rebounds with 44.93 per game.

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The trio came up big in the Beavers' 76-64 win over in-state rival OR on January 5, with Tinkle scoring a game-high 19 points, while Thompson scored 16 and Eubanks added 15.

"It was a physical game".

After playing its first three Pac-12 games either at home or just down the road in Corvallis, the Ducks hit the road Thursday night and pulled off a major upset - a 76-72 win at No. 11 Arizona State.

"They're really doing a great job and scoring inside and out", he said.

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OR at No. 17 Arizona tops the Pac-12 this week