2017 Pac-12 Men's Basketball Tournament: Oregon closes out upset-minded Cal
LAS VEGAS – Tyler Dorsey had 23 points, Dylan Ennis scored on a key three-point play with 22 seconds left, and No. 5 Oregon outlasted California 73-65 Friday night in the Pac-12 Tournament semifinals.
Top-seeded Oregon (29-4) played most of the second half without leading scorer Dillon Brooks due to foul trouble, but increased its lead behind a rash of blocked shots and transition baskets.
Ennis finished with 16 points for Oregon, which will play the winner between No. 3 UCLA and No. 7 Arizona in Saturday's championship game. Jordan Bell had 15 rebounds and five blocked shots.
California (21-12) lost leading scorer Jabari Bird 64 seconds into the game to a head injury after a hard fall, yet held its own with the Ducks.
[Related video: Oregon's Tyler Dorsey scores 23 with five 3-pointers]
The fifth-seeded Bears pulled within two in the final minute, but Ennis scored on a hard drive and hit the free throw to put the Ducks up 70-65.
Grant Mullins led Cal with 23 points and Charlie Moore added 15.
Cal took a couple of steps toward earning an at-large NCAA Tournament bid by beating Oregon State and Utah to open the Pac-12 Tournament after closing the regular season with five losses in six games.
Beating a top-five team would have been a huge boost, but it faced long odds coming into the night. Oregon won the two games during the regular season against the Bears, blowing them out at home, needing a late comeback and buzzer-beater by Brooks to win in Berkeley.
Cal got a tough break barely a minute into the game, when Bird went down hard. He had to be helped to the locker room while holding a towel to the right side of his head.
But the injury and a quiet start by forward Ivan Raab did little to slow the Bears. They attacked the Ducks at both ends, leading for a good portion of the first half behind Moore and Mullins, who combined for 21 points.
Oregon had two long scoring droughts, but turned up the defensive pressure to build a 36-33 halftime lead. Dorsey had 13 points and the Ducks held Cal without a field goal over the final 4:38.
Oregon opened the second half by getting into quick foul trouble. The Ducks had six in the opening 2 1/2 minutes - five on one possession - and Brooks had to go to the bench after picking up his fourth.
Despite the fouls, Oregon increased its lead, going up 49-37 after a 9-0 run.
Cal clawed back, whittling the lead down to 64-61 with 3 1/2 minutes left behind a little defense of its own, but couldn't finish it off.