Oregon rallies past Washington State
EUGENE, Ore. (AP)
The last time No. 16 Oregon was 6-0 in league play the Ducks were known as the Webfoots and the league was called the Pacific Coast Conference, not the Pac-12.
But Oregon (17-2, 6-0 Pac-12) reached that mark for the first time since 1925-26 on Wednesday with a 68-61 victory over Washington State, a win that required a rally from the Ducks' largest halftime deficit of the season.
E.J. Singler had 14 of his 19 points in the second half for Oregon, which trailed 39-29 at halftime before pulling out its eighth straight victory. Arsalan Kazemi added 16 points and Damyean Dotson had 11 points and a career-high nine rebounds.
The win was Oregon's 19th straight at home, tied for the sixth-longest active streak in the nation, and kept the Ducks alone in first place in the Pac-12.
''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.''
''It seemed like they turned the heat up in the second half,'' Washington State coach Ken Bone said. ''There's a reason why they're ranked 16th in the country.''
Oregon opened the second half on a 9-0 run, getting within a point of the Cougars' double-digit advantage on a breakaway dunk by Carlos Emory that made it 39-38 with 15:33 left.
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 on another assist by Singler as the Ducks took a 57-53 lead and 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 come back 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 were halfway to their first win against a ranked team since beating No. 18 Washington on Jan. 30, 2011.
But Washington State 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.