TUCSON, Ariz. — Arizona’s offense was disjointed, the shots weren’t falling, the free throws clanging one after another.
Playing without injured forward Brandon Ashley for the first time, the second-ranked Wildcats looked out of sorts on the offensive end, leaving them in jeopardy of their first losing streak of the season.
Good thing they know how to play defense, particularly when the game is on the line.
Digging in over the closing minutes, Arizona overcame a rough shooting night to win in their first game without Ashley, grinding out a 67-65 victory over Oregon on Thursday night.
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The Wildcats needed it against Oregon (15-7, 3-7).
Coming off its first loss of the season, Arizona (22-1, 9-1) labored offensively.
Point guard T.J. McConnell missed seven of his first eight shots before dropping in a three-pointer with 90 seconds left to give Arizona the lead. Nick Johnson went 5 of 16 from the field and led the Wildcats with 18 points. He kept fighting his way through the misses and hit 5 of 6 free throws in the final 47 seconds.
At Arizona St. 86, Oregon St. 82 (OT)
Jermaine Marshall scored 25 points, including seven in overtime, as Arizona State held off Oregon State.
Jahii Carson added 23 points, six rebounds and six assists for the Sun Devils (17-6, 6-4), who had a chance to win at the end of regulation, then took the lead for good halfway through overtime.
Roberto Nelson had 26 points, 24 after halftime, to lead the Beavers (13-9, 5-5), who scored with 19 seconds left in regulation to force overtime.