College Basketball News

Oregon withstands Wazzu’s comeback effort

Jermaine Couisnard and Keeshawn Barthelemy scored 17 points apiece as fourth-seeded Oregon held on for a 75-70 win over fifth-seeded Washington State in the quarterfinals of the Pac-12 tournament on Thursday in Las Vegas.

Oregon’s N’Faly Dante added 16 points and 11 rebounds before exiting with an apparent ankle injury in the final minute. The Ducks (19-13) led by as many as 19 before Washington State stormed back to move ahead midway through the second half.

TJ Bamba led Washington State (17-16) with 19 points, Justin Powell scored 15, Mouhamed Gueye added 14, and Andrej Jakimovski had 10. The Cougars saw their seven-game winning streak end after being held scoreless for the final 3 1/2 minutes.

Oregon advances to face top-seeded and second-ranked UCLA in Friday’s semifinals. The Ducks dropped both meetings against the Bruins this season, losing 65-56 in Los Angeles on Dec. 4 and 70-63 in Eugene on Feb. 11.

Washington State trailed by eight at the half before taking a 70-68 lead on Gueye’s dunk with 3:35 remaining. Oregon responded with five straight points and led by three with 29 seconds left.

DJ Rodman blocked Rivaldo Soares’ dunk attempt with 10 seconds left to keep Washington State’s hopes alive. Soares then hit two free throws with six seconds remaining to secure the victory.

Oregon appeared to be firmly in control early on and held a 34-15 advantage with 5:10 left in the first half.

Washington State was held to 34.5 percent shooting in the first half but managed to cut the deficit to 38-30 entering the break after closing on a 10-0 run.

Dante and Couisnard combined for 19 first-half points for Oregon, which shot 51.6 percent from the field before intermission but just 3 of 14 (21.4 percent) from 3-point range.

The Cougars carried their momentum into the second half and took their first lead since early in the first half at 58-57 after Powell and Bamba hit back-to-back 3-pointers, the second with 9:09 remaining.

Dante has five double-doubles in his past six games for Oregon, which outscored Washington State 28-3 in bench points.

–Field Level Media

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