Difficult ending

Oregon races to big first-half lead, quiets LSU rally late for NIT victory.

EUGENE, Ore. – As disappointed as Devoe Joseph was about not making the NCAA tournament as a senior, he was far from devastated.

 

Joseph had 25 points and 6 assists to lead Oregon past LSU 96-76 Tuesday night in the first round of the NIT.

 

"(Missing the NCAA tournament) is always going to be a little disappointing," Joseph said. "But we still have time to do something big."

 

The third-seeded Ducks (23-9) will host Iowa on Sunday in the second round.

 

Garrett Sim also had 15 points and Tony Woods matched his career-high with 14 for Oregon, which broke the game open midway through the first half with 24-4 run that opened up a 32-16 lead.

 

"We got the tempo going where we wanted it to go," Ducks’ coach Dana Altman said. "And I didn't think they were comfortable in that type of game."

 

Justin Hamilton: 21 points and 9 rebounds in the loss

Justin Hamilton had 21 points and 9 rebounds and Ralston Turner scored 14 points to lead the Tigers (18-15).

 

"They came out with a lot more energy," said Turner, who had 12 points in the second half on four 3-pointers. "I think that was the difference in the game. They just hit us in the mouth, and we didn't respond well."

 

LSU led 12-8 with 15:39 to go in the first half before the Ducks got rolling with 10 straight points to go up 18-12. Oregon later notched 12 consecutive points to take their 16-point lead with 9:22 to play in the half. Joseph had nine points during the spurt, and Woods had six.

 

"We got steals and got in transition and got some easy baskets," Joseph said. "We were able to speed the game up."

 

After leading by as many as 20 points in the half, Oregon went to into halftime up 50-33.

 

The Tigers twice cut their deficit to 10 points in the final 5 minutes, but both times Joseph answered for the Ducks.

 

Ralston Turner: Led LSU with 12 points in second half and finished with 14

A 5-0 run by LSU made it 79-69 with 5:04 to play but Joseph made his third 3-pointer with 4:38 left to put Oregon up 13.

 

It was 84-74 with 3:04 left when Joseph hit a fadeaway jumper to start a game-closing 12-2 run to end the game for the Ducks.

 

Joseph, who was 11-for-17 from the field, had seven points and two assists in the final 5 minutes.

 

The Ducks outshot the Tigers 58% to 44% and had 20 assists on 34 field goals. Joseph led the way with 6 assists.

 

"For whatever reason, we couldn't guard them," LSU coach Trent Johnson said. "We've guarded better (and) we've played better than that. It was one of those nights."

 

E.J. Singler and Carlos Emory also scored 11 points each for the Ducks. Johnny O'Bryant had 12 for the Tigers.

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