Pac-12 basketball: Arizona routs Northern Arizona; Oregon beats Eastern Washington
Jamarl Baker scored 33 points and made seven 3-pointers, sending Arizona to a 96-53 rout of Northern Arizona on Monday night.
Arizona (3-0) swarmed the Lumberjacks in their first game of the season, scoring the first 15 points on the way to building a 26-point halftime lead.
Baker played free and confidently from the opening tip, scoring 19 points to eclipse his career high by halftime. He hit his first seven 3s and finished 7 for 9 from behind the arc.
Arizona shot 67%, went 13 for 22 from 3-point range and had 21 assists and 32 field goals.
Luke Avdalovic led Northern Arizona (0-1) with 16 points and Cam Shelton added 15.
The Wildcats and Lumberjacks had been trying to play this game for more than a month.
The original schedule had it slated for Nov. 10. The pandemic-delayed start of the season pushed it to Nov. 25. COVID-19 issues within NAU’s program caused it to be delayed yet again.
The Wildcats arrived at McKale Center in midseason form with three wins already. The Lumberjacks had three days of practice and no games to prepare for what was already going to be a difficult challenge.
It couldn’t have started worse for NAU.
Northern Arizona coach Shane Burcar called a timeout two minutes in after Arizona scored twice on the break, including a 3-on-1, and the Wildcats raced out to a 15-0 lead.
The Lumberjacks found a bit of rhythm after the early blitz and hit a few shots.
Their biggest problem: stopping Baker.
Arizona’s junior guard confidently stroked in one shot after another, eclipsing his career high by halftime with 21 points. Baker made all eight of his shots, including five 3s, and Arizona led 53-27.
Baker didn’t cool down after the break. He hit two more 3-pointers in the first 2 1/2 minutes and capped his night with a behind-the-back move for a tough layup in traffic. He made 12 of 16 shots overall.
Oregon 69, Eastern Washington 52
Eugene Omoruyi scored 18 points to help Oregon beat Eastern Washington 69-52 in the Ducks’ home opener on Monday.
Eric Williams Jr., had 17 points and 10 rebounds for the Ducks (2-1), who led by as many as 17 points in the second half. Oregon extended its winning streak at Matthew Knight Arena to 23 games.
Jacob Davison had 15 points for Eastern Washington (0-3), which challenged the Ducks early but ultimately couldn’t keep up. The Eagles went 5 for 26 from 3-point range.
Omoruyi was named Pac-12 Player of the Week on Monday after averaging 26.5 points and 7.5 rebounds in a pair of games last week. Oregon opened the season in Nebraska with an 83-75 loss to Missouri, with Omoruyi scoring a career-high 31 points. The Ducks defeated Seton Hall 83-70 on Friday.
The Ducks were set to open the season at home against Eastern Washington on Nov. 25, but that game was postponed.
The Eagles nearly upset Arizona on Saturday but the Wildcats rallied for a 70-67 victory. Eastern Washington also gave Washington State trouble but fell 71-68 in the season opener.
Oregon was ranked No. 21 in the AP Top 25 last week, but then fell out of the poll on Monday.
The Ducks once again were without guard Will Richardson, who is expected to miss the first six weeks of the season with a thumb injury.
Freshman Jaylen Terry’s layup at the buzzer gave Oregon a 36-32 lead going into halftime.
The Ducks began to pull away in the second half. LJ Figueroa’s layup with 13:04 left pushed Oregon’s lead to 47-36. Figueroa finished with 12 points and 10 rebounds.
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