Oregon survives mediocre shooting, Washington State’s last-minute rally in 62-59 win | Sports

Oregon hung on for a landslide victory on Monday night.

With their NCAA Tournament hopes on life support, the Ducks (17-8, 10-4 Pac-12) overcame a second-half shooting crisis and a pair of costly turnovers in the final minute of the game. to sneak past Washington State 62-59 on Monday in Matthew Knight Arena.

N’Faly Dante had 13 points and 10 rebounds while his replacement Franck Kepnang added 9 points and four blocks. Each was instrumental in rallying the Ducks on the stretch.

“Their effort… They saved us,” Oregon coach Dana Altman said. “I think they played really well.”

De’Vion Harmon added 13 of his own, but neither Will Richardson nor Jacob Young hit double digits.

The cold 3-point shot — which played a big role in the Ducks’ sinking against Cal on Saturday — returned on Monday as they missed their first seven attempts. It wasn’t until 8:40 of the first half that Oregon hit one, and the Ducks shot just 5 of 19 from deep.

“Obviously tonight we didn’t shoot well from the 3-point line,” Kepnang said. “At this type of night, we just have to work and stick together, and I think that’s what we did.”

Amid the erratic perimeter shootout, Oregon set up camp in the paint. The Ducks found themselves with a 30-18 lead with 3:48 left in the first half and a 35-29 halftime lead.

Oregon’s next points didn’t come until 1:58 into the second half — 13 straight misses later.

“We were stuck in the mud,” Altman said. “We don’t score a few baskets, and the baskets we gave them, we just weren’t ready to play.”

The Cougars grabbed 22 offensive rebounds and scored 21 second-chance points.

Needing a spark, Jacob Young nailed a midrange jumper on a quick crossover, then used a no-look pass to find a cutting Warrior for a dunk. The dunk, accompanied by a Kepnang block on the other end, woke up a sparsely packed Matthew Knight Arena as the Ducks regained the lead 45-43.

“After the struggles, we had our last game,” Kepnang said. “I felt like in this game we all needed to bring in a bit of extra energy and emotion.”

Then Oregon picked up the pace as Washington State missed 11 straight shots amid a 3-minute drought. The Ducks’ big men ran hard on the floor, and Oregon continued to hit the Cougars inside, eventually building a 34-22 advantage in the paint score.

Richardson’s only 3-pointer of the game came from an inbounds play with 1 minute left. The timely shot put Oregon ahead 62-53, serving as a presumed dagger, but Oregon did not score again. The Ducks threw an inbounds pass, charged and missed two free throws as the Cougars’ Michael Flowers (game-high 23 points) hit straight 3s and nearly a third, which would have sent the match. overtime.

“We have to get a lot harder to handle the ball late,” Altman said. “We have veteran guards; they must do a much better job. Obviously free throws were a problem, but we had to find a way to win. At this time of year, everyone knows everyone. There aren’t many easy baskets.

With March around the corner, Oregon couldn’t afford another loss. On Monday, the Ducks survived. Now they will move on. After concluding their homestand, they head south to Arizona where they will face Arizona State at 6:00 p.m. PST on February 17 before taking on No. 4 Arizona on February 19.

Comments are closed.