PULLMAN, Wash.- Oregon (21-5, 10-3) overcame an early ejection, a 15-point deficit and a last minute collapse to defeat Washington State 79-77 in overtime. The win kept the Ducks atop the conference standings and also provided the first four-game sweep of the Washington schools since 1990.
Oregon played its worst ten-minutes of basketball of the season following the ejection of Tony Woods. Woods elbowed Washington State star Brock Motum in the back of the head and was issues a flagrant two call, ending his game. The Ducks led 11-10, but made just one field goal in 7:25 of play.
During that stretch, the Cougars (11-15, 2-11) pushed their lead out to as many as 15 points. Oregon finished the half on a small run, cutting the lead to 11, heading to the locker room trailing 38-27.
But the Ducks, who had trailed by 10 to the Cougars in the first meeting before coming back to win, were far from lifeless in the second half. They were helped in large part by leading scorers Damyean Dotson and E.J. Singler, who had the first 15 points of the second half, which cut the Cougar lead to just one.
Waverly Austin, who played in Woods' place, finished a lay-up to give the Ducks a 44-43 lead just six minutes into the second half, capping a 16-5 Duck run to open it.
Oregon and Washington State battled back-and-forth down the stretch, before Oregon gained control on a Johnathan Loyd jumper in the lane, his first basket of the game.
With a five-point Oregon lead with 29 seconds remaining in regulation, the game appeared all but over, but two Loyd free throw misses and a 5-0 Cougar run, finished by a DaVaonte Lacy three forced overtime.
Much like regulation, it was Loyd hitting a tough lay-up to give the Ducks the lead, which Oregon pushed out to three points after a Carlos Emory dunk and a Singler free throw. But Washington State, who hit 12 three point shots, would not fade away, this time it was Royce Woolridge hitting a double-clutch three to tie the game with 3.8 seconds left. Woolridge finished with a career-high 36 points.
But Cougar guard Dexter Kernich-Drew mistook the three to cut the game to one instead of tie it and fouled Singler who made both free throws, clinching it for Oregon.
Oregon has now won 12-of-16 games at Washington State, six of which have gone to overtime, with the Ducks winning five of such contests
Singler finished with 25 points, one shy of a career-high. Emory did reach a career-best, scoring 20 points and Dotson ended with 16. Arsalan Kazemi who has developed into the conference's premier hustle player, ended with 12 rebounds, two steals and a block. But no plays were of greater value than a loose ball he saved, threw over his head that was caught by Singler in overtime. Loyd, whose offensive production had been hotly criticized, before his 11-point second half performance in Seattle Wednesday, ended with seven assists and just two turnovers.