Arizona falls to Oregon State on buzzer-beating 3, Tommy Lloyd slams Wildcat defense
Arizona gave up 12 3-pointers to Oregon State in Corvallis on Thursday night, the last of which buried the Wildcats at the buzzer and sent Tommy Lloyd’s group to a third consecutive road loss.
Jordan Pope’s buzzer-beating 3-pointer gave the Beavers an 83-80 win over No. 9 Arizona at Gill Coliseum. Pope finished with 31 points on 9-of-15 shooting. Tyler Bilodeau had 22 points on 8-of-10 shooting. The Beavers shot 56% as a team and 60% from the 3-point line.
Pope dribbled himself into a rhythm and then stepped back for a fall-away triple from the left wing. As the final buzzer blared, Pope’s triple splashed home and sent Beaver fans bonkers.
— Oregon State Hoops (@BeaverMBB) January 26, 2024
On the other side of euphoria was Arizona, which has now lost its last three road games and is just 4-5 away from McKale Center on the season.
Home cooking has been delightful for Lloyd’s group; Arizona is 10-0 in front of its home crowd. Taking the show on the road has led to misfires, particularly on the defensive side of the floor.
In those five losses, Arizona has given up 50 3s at a 47.2% clip. Away from McKale, Arizona is allowing 82.2 points a game.
At home, Arizona is allowing just 63.1 points a game and 32.5% shooting from beyond the 3-point line.
“Our bigs gotta step up on some of these bigs,” Lloyd said after Thursday’s game. “Our bigs are literally acting like they’ve never seen another big make a 3. We’ve probably gotta scout it better and we’ve got to respect people a little bit more. But that’s on the coaching staff and on our bigs to be better there. It’s a recurring theme against us.”
The 6-foot-9 Bilodeau hit 3-of-4 from distance. Michael Rataj, a 6-9 forward, hit two of his three. Thomas Ndong, a 6-10 forward, hit a triple as well. On the season, those three players had combined to make just 17 of their 72 triples (23.6%) prior to Thursday’s game.
Lloyd thought there was energy in the first half, when Arizona surged out to a 44-36 lead before the break. He thought it trailed off in the second half.
“I don’t think we did a good job defensively,” Lloyd said. “I mean, we let them run one simple play over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over again and they got comfortable. And that shouldn’t happen.”
Caleb Love led the way offensively with 23 points. Pelle Larsson pitched in 17 and Keshad Johnson supplied 18.
But Arizona shot 3-for-14 from the 3-point line and missed 10 free throws.
On Saturday, Arizona heads to Eugene to battle the Oregon Ducks (14-5, 6-2 Pac-12). Lloyd hoped it would be a game for first place in the Pac-12. Instead, Arizona (14-5, 5-3 Pac-12) will be looking to tie the Ducks for the top spot in the league.
Oregon rolled Arizona State in the second half, 52-28, on Thursday to win in blowout fashion.
Asked if his own team’s failure to get the job done in Corvallis would lead to a more spirited effort in Eugene, Lloyd sent his team a message.
“If our guys want to win now because they lost today, they’re in the wrong program. When you wear an Arizona jersey, you want to win every day. We don’t need to get into the weeds on things. You want to win every day and it’s your responsibility to bring it every day.”
Tip-off against the Ducks is set for 2:30 p.m. PT on FOX.