Too much Tubelis: The Arizona forward scores 40 as Ducks lose desert showdown

Arizona Wildcats forward Azuolas Tubelis (10) makes a basket in the second half at McKale Center Feb. 2, 2023, in Tucson.
Arizona Wildcats forward Azuolas Tubelis (10) makes a basket in the second half at McKale Center Feb. 2, 2023, in Tucson.

Arizona got its revenge Thursday.

Nearly three weeks after Oregon upset the Wildcats in Eugene, the Ducks were on the wrong end of a career night by one of the Pac-12’s best players as they lost 91-76 to No. 5 Arizona at McKale Center in Tucson.

Oregon (13-10, 7-5 Pac-12) had won four of its last five games, beginning with an 87-68 victory against the Wildcats (20-3, 9-3) at Matthew Knight Arena on Jan. 14.

The Ducks were able to contain Azuolas Tubelis that night. They had no such luck on Thursday.

Tubelis, already the Pac-12 leader in scoring and rebounding, was better than he’s ever been. The junior forward had a career-high 40 points on 16-of-21 shooting from the field. He also had nine rebounds, three assists and three steals.

Tubelis had 27 points on 10-for-14 shooting in the first half alone as Arizona built a 50-35 advantage. He reached a career-high 33 points by the 15:22 mark of the second half.

“You’re not going to win on the road giving up 91 points and we gave up way too many scouting report buckets,” coach Dana Altman said on his postgame radio show. “Early, Tubelis got it going and just kicked us.”

Will Richardson led the Ducks with 22 points on 7-of-10 shooting. N’Faly Dante, who was limited to seven minutes in the first half after picking up three early fouls, finished with 13 points. Rivaldo Soares also scored 13.

Guard Jermaine Couisnard, who scored 27 with six 3-pointers against the Wildcats in the first meeting, finished with eight points on 3-of-12 shooting, 2-of-7 from 3-point range, with no rebounds or assists.

Arizona outshot Oregon 53%-41% and won the rebounding battle 36-32.

“Just disappointed that we didn’t bring a better effort,” said Altman, later adding, “Fundamentally we were not sound on the defensive end and it cost us an opportunity to get a game. We cannot give up that many points.”

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Up Next

Oregon at Arizona State

7 p.m., Saturday at Desert Financial Arena, Tempe, Ariz. TV: ESPN2. Radio: KUJZ-FM (95.3)

This article originally appeared on Register-Guard: No upset for Oregon Ducks as No. 5 Arizona wins with ease