The Arizona Wildcats got all they could handle from the Oregon St. Beavers on Thursday night in front of a packed house at the McKale Center, but the team managed to pull out the 81-73 victory in overtime. The game featured a little bit of everything, including a benches clearing brawl in the final minutes of OT. Kyryl Natyazhko and Joe Burton were both ejected and a total of four double-technical fouls were assessed.
This is the second straight game Burton has been ejected against the UA. He was kicked out in the first round of the Pac-10 Conference Tournament last year after a blatant elbow to Kevin Parrom's face.
After a slow, defensive minded first half, both the Wildcats and Beavers caught fire in the second half. Brendon Lavender was the star of the show, going 5-for-5 from beyond the arc in the second half. The senior shooting guard, who has come off the bench his entire career at the UA, single-handedly carried his team in the second half and ignited the crowd of 14,142. Kyle Fogg had a big game with 23 points, including the game-tying layup in the final seconds of regulation, while freshman Nick Johnson added 19 points in 29 minutes.
Sparks flew in the final seconds of the second half. As afore mentioned, Fogg drove to the basket and tied the game at 72-72 with 19.1 left on the clock. The Beavers got a wide open look at the buzzer, but the ball went in-and-out, sending the contest into overtime.
Arizona beat OSU at their own game in OT, out-rebounding the Beavers and coming away with three steals. Other than an early free throw, the opposition did not score. After two quick buckets, Kyle Fogg stole the ball and sprinted down the court. He converted on a layup and was fouled in the act of shooting, sending the arena into a frenzy.
Fogg proceeded to move in the direction of Jared Cunningham, who made the clean foul, before Cunningham shoved Fogg when he got a little too close for comfort. The benches cleared before being separated by coaches and various players and the referees took a few minutes to assess the fouls.
It was a wild game in Tucson this evening. There will likely be no suspensions to any of the players involved in the altercation, although the Pac-12 will review video on Friday.
As for Arizona, the team improves to 3-1 in conference play and will host the Oregon Ducks on Saturday afternoon. Tipoff is set for 1:30 p.m.