Oregon 80 - Washington 77 (OT)
LAS VEGAS – The third time was not the charm for Washington as Oregon completed a season sweep of its Pacific Northwest rivals 80-77 in overtime Thursday at the Pac-12 Tournament in Las Vegas. The Ducks beat the Huskies three times in a season for the first time since 1954 and earned their first neutral-site win of the season at the MGM Grand Garden Arena on Thursday. “We knew it was going to be a really tough game,” Oregon coach Dana Altman said. “We played pretty good. I know we played really hard but made some mistakes. “I’m just really proud of the guys, we had guys step up tonight.”
Oregon led 39-34 at the break but an Aziz N’Diaye jumper a few minutes into the second half gave Washington back the lead. The teams traded baskets until the Senegalese center knocked down a jumper to push the Huskies up six with 6:55 left. The Ducks raced right back, with Tony Woods converting a three-point play and E.J. Singler knocking down a three from the corner to cut the deficit to just one. Pac-12 Coach of the Year Dana Altman made inserted Dominic Artis with the game tied after the under-4 timeout. Artis immediately found Woods for a sky-high alley-oop dunk to put the Ducks up two. Washington responded as C.J. Wilcox nailed a turnaround jumper to put his team up two 64-62. The Ducks came down the floor and missed a three before Johnathan Loyd was fouled shooting a fadeaway with 16.6 left. He nailed both free throws and knocked the ball away from Wilcox on the defensive end as the buzzer sounded to force overtime.
“He made big plays,” Altman said of Loyd. “The last play he got a hand on the ball and knocked it away to give us a chance going into overtime.” Arsalan Kazemi took over for Oregon in the extra five minutes, scoring 11 of his 14 points including a put-back and a big dunk off a nifty behind-the-back pass from Johnathan Loyd that brought the crowd to its feet. “His put-back was maybe the game-changing play,” Altman said. “I thought he played his tail off.” “This was like a playoff game,” Kazemi said. “I played as hard as I could. I didn’t even look at the score.” The Ducks (24-8, 12-6 in the Pac-12) move on to the Pac-12 tournament semifinals on Friday at 8:30 p.m. PT against an upset-minded Utah team that has the longest active winning streak in the league. The game will air at 8:30 p.m. PT on ESPN. Game Photos (Eric Evans Photography): [gallery ids="1664,1678,1681,1677,1680,1676,1674,1666,1675,1665"]
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