Ducks beat Beavers 88-74 in Pac-12 tournament
LAS VEGAS (AP) Joseph Young scored 15 of his 19 points in the second half and Oregon pulled away for an 88-74 victory over Oregon State in the first round of the Pac-12 tournament on Wednesday.
The 342nd meeting between the Civil War rivals was their first in the Pac-12 tournament and carried plenty of implications for Oregon’s NCAA tournament chances.
The defending tournament champion Ducks (23-8) came through after a shaky start, relying on their depth and superb second-half shooting to earn a spot in Thursday’s quarterfinals against second-seeded UCLA.
Jason Calliste scored 17 points and Oregon hit 16 of 20 shots in the second half for its eighth straight win. The Ducks outscored Oregon State 46-6 off the bench and made 10 of 16 from 3-point range.
Angus Brandt scored 20 points and Roberto Nelson had 19 in what was likely their final game with the Beavers (16-15).
Oregon is arguably the most dangerous team in the Pac-12 tournament, even as the No. 7 seed.
After opening the Pac-12 at 3-8, the Ducks have looked more like the top-10 team they were at the beginning of the season, reeling off seven wins to close out the regular season. Oregon picked up a big one to close the season, beating then-No. 3 Arizona at home to boost their NCAA tournament profile, but still was lingering around the bubble heading into the Pac-12 tournament.
Oregon State was the No. 10 seed, but was not going to be an easy out for Oregon.
The Beavers are not only Oregon’s biggest rival, they beat the Ducks in January and their only shot at reaching the NCAA tournament was to win the Pac-12.
It had the potential to be the last game for Nelson, the senior who may have had something to prove after being left off the All-Pac-12 first team despite leading the conference in scoring.
Nelson did his part in the first half, scoring 13 points, and the Beavers were good when they got shots off, hitting 14 of 19.
The problem came when they couldn’t get shots off.
After missing its first nine shots, Oregon raced past the Beavers behind their defense.
Creating turnovers with their press and halfcourt pressure, Oregon went on a 21-4 run to race past the Beavers for a 26-19 lead.
The Ducks led 41-40 at halftime after scoring 15 points on Oregon State’s 10 turnovers.
It stayed close until midway through the second half, when Young took over.
The junior guard known for putting up points in bunches did just that against the Beavers, scoring on three straight drives and a basket underneath to cap a 17-2 run that put the Ducks up 71-59 and firmly in control.