Updated at: 01/12/2013 8:37 PM
By ANNE M. PETERSON
(AP) CORVALLIS, Ore. - Solomon Hill had 16 points, including five 3-pointers, to help the No. 4 Arizona Wildcats bounce back from their first loss of the season with a 80-70 victory over Oregon State on Saturday.
The Wildcats (15-1, 3-1 Pac-12) were coming off a 70-66 defeat Thursday night just down the road against the Oregon Ducks. Arizona, which had made a habit of pulling off late wins, couldn’t manage another against the Ducks.
The Beavers (10-6, 0-3), who trailed by as many as 17 points in the second half, didn’t give the Wildcats much trouble. Ahmad Starks had 18 points to lead Oregon State, which dropped its third straight.
Mark Lyons added 16 points for the Wildcats, who were plagued by 16 turnovers but made 10 of 25 3-point attempts.
The Wildcats pulled ahead 13-6 early on Grant Jarrett’s 3-pointer, but Oregon State did its best to keep up and pulled to within 17-16 on Starks’ 3-pointer with 12:18 to go in the first half.
The Beavers pulled to within 24-23 on another 3 from Starks, but Hill answered with a 3-pointer for the Wildcats.
Lyons hit a layup that put Arizona up 32-27, but Langston Morris-Walker hit on a long jumper and Devon Collier dunked on a fast break to keep Oregon State close.
Trailing 34-33, the Beavers had a chance to go ahead but Jamal Reid missed a pair of free throws. The Wildcats finished out with a 9-2 run to lead 43-34 at the break.
Brandon Ashley’s layup early in the second half pushed Arizona’s lead to double digits, 47-37. Kevin Parrom’s 3-pointer made it 60-45 with 12:22 left and Hill’s 3 extended the lead to 67-50 midway through the half and the Wildcats cruised the rest of the way.
It was somewhat unusual for the Wildcats to win by such a margin.
The Wildcats defeated then-No. 5 Florida 65-64 back in mid-December on senior Mark Lyons’ heavily contested layup with 7 seconds left. Arizona got another 1-point win over a ranked opponent when they beat San Diego State 68-67 at the Diamond Head Classic in Hawaii.
To start the new year, a banked-in 3-pointer by Colorado’s Sabatino Chen at the end of regulation was waved off by the officials after a replay and the Wildcats went on to beat the Buffaloes in overtime. Then Arizona lucked out when what would have been a game-tying 3-pointer by Utah bounced off the rim for a 60-57 Wildcats win.
Oregon State played for the second straight without sophomore forward Eric Moreland, who had started Oregon State’s first 14 games before he was suspended indefinitely for violating team rules along with teammate Victor Robbins.
Moreland, a 6-foot-10 sophomore, was averaging 10.8 points and 11.1 rebounds while Robbins played about 63 minutes off the bench in nine games this season. Moreland sat on the bench for Saturday’s game dressed in street clothes.
Collier finished with 13 points and 15 rebounds for the Beavers.
Arizona is the highest ranked team Oregon State’s Craig Robinson has faced as head coach of the Beavers. Oregon State has upset a top five-ranked team 10 times, with the last two victories coming against Arizona in 2000 and 1989.
(Copyright 2013 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)