Ducks Run Out Of Steam In Semis
LAS VEGAS — Oregon's bid to complement its Pac-12 regular-season title in men's basketball with a tournament title ended Friday in the semifinals, when hot three-point shooting by Oregon State ended the Ducks' winning streak at six games, 75-64.
The Beavers were 5-of-10 from three-point range in the first half and actually got better after halftime, going 5-of-9 in the final 20 minutes. The Ducks led for just 27 seconds, after a 10-0 run midway through the first half, but trailed by as much as 19 in the second half and were outrebounded in the game, 38-24.
"Oregon State just outplayed us," UO coach Dana Altman said. "They outworked us right from the start. Outrebounded us; much more energy than what we had. I knew they'd come after us, I tried to express that to our team. But we were just stuck in the mud from the start."
Five days after Oregon was 15-of-23 from three in Corvallis to clinch the regular-season conference title, the Ducks were just 6-of-25 on Friday. The UO men saw a six-game win streak come to an end.
How It Happened: The Ducks got an early taste of what was to come when OSU hit threes on its first two possessions. The Beavers got their first second-chance points to go up 8-4, and capped a 6-0 run with two more second-chance points for an 18-9 lead.
Oregon followed with one of its few hot streaks of the night, scoring 10 straight to lead 19-18. Chris Duarte scored twice during the run and Eric Williams Jr. contributed a three-pointer. But OSU answered with seven straight to retake the lead and never surrendered it, hitting two more threes late in the half for a 38-28 halftime lead.
Three more threes early in the second half helped OSU extend its lead to 49-34, and two more second-chance points gave the Beavers their biggest lead of the night, 55-36.
It was 58-41 with 10:55 to play when the Ducks made it interesting. Williams was fouled on a three-pointer and made all three free throws, and after an OSU turnover, LJ Figueroa hit a three-pointer. A few moments later Figueroa hit another three, cutting the lead to 61-52, and back-to-back Eugene Omoruyi buckets off OSU turnovers got Oregon within 61-56.
The window for a comeback closed with yet another OSU three-pointer, however, a circus shot by Jarod Lucas with 4:01 left in the game and just before the shot clock expired. That seemed to take the life out of the Ducks, who had four straight empty possessions as OSU pulled away again.
Who Stood Out: The Ducks had four players score in double figures, led by Duarte, Omoruyi and Figueroa with 14 apiece. Will Richardson had a solid all-around game with seven points, seven rebounds and six assists, and Omoruyi had four assists plus a career-high-tying five steals.
What It Means: The Ducks stormed back from a disjointed January that featured two protocol-related pauses to win the Pac-12 regular-season title, but they ran out of gas Friday.
"That would be an excuse I just don't want to give 'em," Altman said. "There are a lot of teams fighting through the same things. … It's an unusual year; I understand our players being fatigued. But we do have an experienced group, and we just flat didn't get ready; Oregon State did."
Up Next: The Ducks will find out their NCAA Tournament seeding Sunday.