TUCSON - Arizona has wanted to make scoring inside an emphasis of late and did just that in an 80-58 victory over Oregon State on Saturday.
Wildcats forward Ivan Radenovic led the way with a career-high 26 points and made some jumpers. But it was his play on the block that helped allow Arizona to score 44 points inside the paint for back-to-back victories after three straight defeats at home.
‘‘We are shooting an incredible percentage inside,’’ Arizona’s Marcus Williams said. ‘‘When we got the ball in there we got easy dunks. Ivan got layup after layup. We simplified the game.’’
Arizona also received 16 points from Williams, and 10 from Kirk Walters.
Oregon State, which lost its sixth straight game, was led by Sasa Cuic’s 16 points. Kyle Jeffers and Dobson High’s Nick DeWitz chipped in with 14 and 13 points, respectively.
Besides getting the ball to Radenovic, who made 12 of 21 shots, or to Walters inside, where he made 4 of 5 field goal attempts, Arizona was able to win its 24th straight home game against the Beavers by forcing 25 turnovers.
‘‘The offense isn’t crisp because of the turnovers,’’ Jeffers said. ‘‘The turnovers made it look like garbage.’’
The Wildcats converted the Beavers’ miscues into a 29-14 margin in points off turnovers.
‘‘I thought we were more aggressive in terms of pressure on the ball,’’ Arizona coach Lute Olson said. ‘‘I thought we made it difficult for them to get what they wanted.’’
Every time the Wildcats needed a bucket, it seemed Radenovic or Williams was there. The pair combined to score 40 of the team’s initial 64 points.
‘‘I found myself in a rhythm after the first couple of shots that I got,’’ Radenovic said. ‘‘Everything after that was easy. My teammates found me inside and I was able to convert.’’
Oregon State closed to within 11 points on a Jeffers jumper to make it 60-49 with 9:45 left. But then Walters executed inside for a dunk and Williams made a 16-footer to squash the Beavers’ last serious surge and go ahead 64-49 with 7:47 left.
Radenovic reached his previous high of 20 points just three minutes into the second half, with his lay-in putting Arizona ahead 54-35 as part of a 10-2 run out of the halftime break.
Oregon State tried to come back, scoring eight straight, including a pair of buckets from DeWitz. But that’s when Radenovic and Williams went back to work, and the Beavers kept turning the ball over.
‘‘We’re trying to find the right combination to make us comfortable,’’ Oregon State coach Jay John said. ‘‘I want guys to be aggressive, but I want them to be smart in doing that. Just way too many turnovers.’’