2018 Pac-12 Men's Basketball Tournament: USC stifles Oregon at both ends to get into title game
LAS VEGAS – Jonah Mathews scored 27 points, Elijah Stewart added 15 and Southern California stormed its way into the Pac-12 Tournament title game with a 74-54 rout over Oregon on Friday night.
USC (23-10) took advantage of the tired Ducks at both ends. The Trojans shot 50 percent and made 10 of 23 from 3-point range, while harassing Oregon into turnovers and missed shots.
No. 2 seed USC moves on to face No. 15 and top-seeded Arizona in the Pac-12 title game Saturday night.
Oregon (22-12) labored in its third game in three days, unable to get shots to fall or keep up with the fresh-legged Trojans. The Ducks had two long scoreless stretches, shot 33 percent from the field and 8 of 30 from the 3-point arc.
MiKyle McIntosh led Oregon with 21 points.
Oregon and USC entered the Pac-12 Tournament on the NCAA bubble.
The Trojans have the better resume with four Quadrant 1 wins and kept their hopes alive with a quarterfinal win over Oregon State. The Ducks are more of a longshot, taking the first step to a needed deep run in the Pac-12 Tournament by beating Utah in the quarterfinals.
USC and Oregon met twice during the regular season, twice tight games, both won by the Trojans.
Playing the day before seemed to take something out of the Ducks. They had some careless turnovers early and struggled offensively, going scoreless for nearly 6 1/2 minutes before another drought over the final 4:47 of the first half. Oregon shot 9 of 31 from the field, 4 of 16 from the 3-point arc, before the break.
USC led 37-23 at halftime behind Mathews' 16 points.
It didn't get any better for the Ducks in the second half. Oregon missed its first seven shots and USC kept stretching the lead, to 53-25 in the opening six minutes.
The Ducks caused USC some problems with their full-court press, cutting the lead to 14 with 6 1/2 minutes left, but got no closer.
Oregon's longshot NCAA Tournament bid took a big hit with a loss to another bubble team.
USC may have secured its NCAA Tournament spot with a dominating performance at both ends.