Azuolas Tubelis scored a career-high 40 points as No. 5 Arizona avenged an earlier loss to Oregon with a 91-76 victory on Thursday night in Tucson, Ariz.
Tubelis, a junior post player, scored on a variety of drives, put-backs and clever finishes off excellent entry passes. He made 16 of 21 shots from the field, 8 of 9 free-throw attempts and filled the box score with nine rebounds, three steals and three assists.
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He led the charge as Arizona (20-3, 9-3 Pac-12) turned the tables on Oregon (13-10, 7-5), which beat the Wildcats 87-68 on Jan. 14 in Eugene, Ore.
Will Richardson scored 22 to lead the Ducks, who trailed by 15 at halftime and never cut the deficit to single digits after that.
Tubelis scored 11 points in the first nine minutes, reached 20 with 4:09 to go in the first half and went into the break with 27. He broke his career high when he hit the 33-point mark with 15:22 left. Tubelis reached 40 when he completed a three-point play with 7:33 remaining.
Needing two points to break the Arizona scoring record at McKale Center — 41 set by Al Fleming on Jan. 10, 1976, against Detroit — Tubelis did not score again. Fleming was posthumously inducted into the McKale Center Ring of Honor during halftime of Thursday’s game.
Tubelis turned in the eighth 40-point performance in school history, the first since Damon Stoudamire went for 40 at Washington State on March 2, 1995. He threatened the school scoring record of 46, set nearly 63 years ago by Ernie McCray against Cal State Los Angeles.
For Arizona, Kerr Kriisa scored 13 points, shot 4 of 8 from beyond the arc and added seven assists. Oumar Ballo had 10 points and 11 rebounds. Oregon’s N’Faly Dante and Rivaldo Soares each scored 13.
Oregon scored the game’s first five points, prompting Arizona coach Tommy Lloyd to call a timeout with less than two minutes gone. The Wildcats responded with a 21-2 run.
The Ducks twice cut the deficit to six, but Tubelis was too much. He finished the scoring in the first half with a fastbreak dunk, giving the Wildcats a 50-35 lead.
–Field Level Media
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