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College basketball: No. 2 Arizona grinds out win over struggling Oregon

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Oregon's Damyean Dotson (21) tries to get around Arizona's Kaleb Tarczewski during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game Thursday, Feb. 6, 2014, in Tucson, Ariz. (AP Photo/John MIller)

The Associated Press

First published Feb 06 2014 10:56PM
Updated Feb 6, 2014 11:16PM

Tucson, Ariz. • Nick Johnson scored 18 points, Rondae Hollis-Jefferson had 14 points and 10 rebounds in place of injured starter Brandon Ashley and No. 2 Arizona grinded out a 67-65 victory over Oregon on Thursday night.

Coming off its first loss of the season, Arizona (22-1, 9-1 Pac-12) labored offensively in its first game without Ashley, who is out for the season with a foot injury.

As they have so many times this season, the Wildcats pulled out a victory by turning up the defensive pressure late to overcome a 4-for-16 effort from 3-point range and 16 missed free throws.

T.J. McConnell hit a 3-pointer with 90 seconds left and Johnson went 5 of 6 from the free throw line in the final minute to prevent the Wildcats’ first losing streak of the season. Joseph Young and Jason Calliste had 14 points each and Damyean Dotson added 12 for the Ducks (15-7, 3-7) , who missed key free throws in the closing seconds and a desperation 3-point attempt at the buzzer.

No. 7 Cincinnati 63, No. 22 Connecticut 58 • In Cincinnati, Sean Kilpatrick scored 26 points, and Justin Jackson led a second-half surge as Cincinnati won its 15th straight.

The Bearcats (22-2, 11-0 American Athletic) trailed most of the game in front of a crowd of 12,432 — their biggest of the season.

Cincinnati has won 18 straight at home, including all 16 this season. The Bearcats are off to their best start in 12 years.

Jackson had six points and blocked a shot during a 13-4 run that rallied Cincinnati midway through the second half.

No. 9 Michigan St. 82, Penn St. 67 • In East Lansing, Mich., Adreian Payne scored 12 points in his return from a foot injury, and Michigan State kept pace atop the Big Ten.

Payne hadn’t played since Jan. 7 because of a sprained foot, but although he didn’t start Thursday, he did play 18 minutes, going 5 of 9 from the field. The Spartans (20-3, 9-1 Big Ten) were still nowhere near full strength.

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