No. 16 Oregon beats Washington State 68-61January 23, 2013 @ 9:59 pm (Updated: 11:15 pm - 1/23/13 )
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 19 points – 14 in the second half – for Oregon, which trailed 39-29 at halftime before pulling out their 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 them 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."
Mike Ladd had 19 points and Brock Motum scored 14 for the Cougars (10-9, 1-5), who shot just 27.3 percent from the field in the second half as they lost their big lead.
"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.
(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)
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