Oregon's E. J. Singler (25) blocks a shot by Washington State's Royce Woolridge during the second half of Washington State's game against Oregon in an NCAA college basketball game at Matthew Knight Arena in Eugene, Ore. Wednesday Jan. 23, 2013. Oregon defeated Washington State 68-61. (AP Photo/Brian Davies)
Thursday, January 24, 2013 1:13 am
No. 16 Oregon beats Washington State 68-61
The Associated Press
The Cougars surrendered a 10-point halftime lead to No. 16 Oregon and the Ducks rallied for a 68-61 victory on Wednesday night.
Mike Ladd had 19 points and Brock Motum scored 14 for Washington State (10-9, 1-5 Pac-12), which shot just 27.3 percent from the field in the second half as it lost a 39-29 halftime lead.
"It seemed like they turned the heat up in the second half," Cougars coach Ken Bone said. "There's a reason why they're ranked 16th in the country."
E.J. Singler had 19 points - 14 in the second half - for Oregon (17-2, 6-0), which is 6-0 in the conference for the first time since 1925-26, when the Ducks were known as the Webfoots and the league was called the Pacific Coast Conference.
Arsalan Kazemi added 16 points and Damyean Dotson had 11 points and a career-high nine rebounds for Oregon in its eighth straight victory.
The win was Oregon's 19th straight at home, tied for the sixth-longest active streak in the nation.
"It was just one of those games, I guess," Singler said. "All that matters is we got the `W.' We have to have the mindset that we're the hunted now."
Oregon opened the second half on a 9-0 run, getting within a point of the Cougars' double-digit lead on a breakaway dunk by Carlos Emory that made it 39-38 with 15:33 to play.
But Dexter Kernich-Drew snapped an 0-for-5 start to the second half for Washington State with a tough layup and Motum followed with a three-point play to put the Cougars back up 44-38.
Then Singler took over. The senior forward scored 10 straight points, tying the game 46-46 with the second of his consecutive 3-pointers. His free throws at the 11:45 mark gave the Ducks their first lead of the game, 48-46.
"I was just feeling it," Singler said. "Some of the guys gave me some good passes, and I knocked down the shots. That got me going and coach ran some plays for me."
The Cougars went back up 53-52 on a layup by Royce Woolridge with 7:38 to play, but Kazemi answered with a dunk off a pass from Singler, and Dominic Artis made a 3-pointer off another Singler assist as the Ducks took a 57-53 lead and they led the rest of the way.
"We bounced back and found a way," Oregon coach Dana Altman said. "But you maybe get one of those a year, or two of those a year where you're really outplayed in the first half. . You get those double-digit deficits and if you think you're going to comeback from those every single game, you're making a mistake."
Ladd had 14 points, six rebounds and five assists in the first half for the Cougars, who cooled off considerably in the second half. After making 7 of 13 3-pointers in the first half, the Cougars missed on all 11 of their 3-point attempts in the second half.