Oregon eliminates Washington in Tournament play on Thursday.

LAS VEGAS – The Oregon Ducks eliminated the Washington Huskies 83-77 in the first game on Thursday at the MGM Grand Garden Arena. Oregon came back from an early 11-point lead the Huskies built in the first half and kept the Washington at bay by controlling the backboards 46-33.

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“They were a really tough match—up for us, but I like our effort,” Oregon’s Dana Altman said of the contest. “The guys on the boards were really good. We had bad turnovers today. We didn’t make very good decisions. We’ll have to clean that up; but our effort on the boards, I think, was the difference in the game.”

Oregon was led by Christopher Boucher and Elgin Cook, both with 19 points. The pair also pulled down 15 boards between them with Boucher notching up 11 while Cook had the other four. Tyler Dorsey added 17 points including three beyond the 3-point line. Dillon Brooks who sat out much of the first half because of two early fouls ended the day with 15 points and eight rebounds.

“Oregon obviously is a very – have been very successful this year, and they can beat you in a lot of different ways,” admitted Washington’s Lorenzo Romar of the game. “In our case tonight they did a great job on the backboards, second-chance points, penetration. Sometimes we go over to help, and especially Boucher, I think he had seven offensive rebounds, and in a game that close, that can certainly make a difference.”

Washington looked as it might run away with things like it did on Wednesday against Stanford, jumped out to an early 26-14 lead but the Ducks held their composure and took control of the defensive boards and had a 24-14 rebounding advantage. Oregon eventually took lead in the game at the 2:21 mark with score reading 32-31. The lead exchanged hands twice but by halftime the scoreboard read 39-38 and the Ducks never looked back.

“We didn’t get off to a good start,” said Altman of the first half. “We were down 12 there ten minutes in the game. So Washington came out and hit us pretty good. The teams yesterday who got out kind of ran downhill, though the rest of the game; so it was a big concern.”

In the second half the game remained competitive and the game was tied once at 43 all but Oregon kept control of the lead and built an 11-point lead, 66-55 with 6:54 left in the game.

Washington’s Andrew Andrews kept things interesting by hitting nine of his 19 points in the later part of the second half, but every time the Huskies made a run, the Ducks found a way of cutting the run off. With 1:36 left in the contest Oregon led 79-77 but were able get an offensive rebound by Dorsey who was then fouled and hit two free throws to extend Oregon’s lead to 81-77. The Huskies then missed a 3-pointer by Marquese Chriss and Cook rebound and was immediately fouled. Cook calming sank both free throws and Oregon led 83-77 with 17 seconds on the game clock. Andrews then had his layup blocked by Boucher and Cook picked up the loose ball allowing the Ducks to runout the game clock and collect the win.

Boucher recorded three blocked shots for the game including the one on Andrews that may clinched the game.

“I just felt like we won the game,” said Boucher of the blocked shot on Andrews. “There was a lot of emotion at the same time. At the beginning of the game I only had one block, so I was like, ‘You know what I have to find a way to block more shots.”

Oregon shot 43.9 percent for the game on 29-of-66 shooting including going 5-for-17 in 3-point shooting and was 20-of-28 from the free throw line while Washington shot 41.4 percent on 24-of-58 shooting. The Huskies were 8-of-24 in 3-pointers and were 21-of-25 from the free throw line.

In addition to Andrew’s 19, Chriss also had 19while Dejounte Murray and Malik Dime had 13 apiece while David Crisp had 11.

Oregon now awaits the winner of the Arizona-Colorado game with will determine the matchup for the game to be played on Friday at 6 p.m. and will be carried on the Pac-12 Networks.

Notes:

·         One seed teams are now 34-11 all-time in the P12T. Eight seeds are now 12-18.

·         The win over Washington is Oregon 18th victory over an RPI top-100 team, which is tied for the most in the nation with Kansas.

·         The Ducks have won at least one game in the Pac-12 Tournament 11 of the last 14 years.

·         Oregon is now 22-0 when leading or tied at halftime.

·         There were six lead changes in today’s game, as opposed the three total in all four first-round games.

·         Tyler Dorsey, Elgin Cook, Chris Boucher and Dillon Brooks scored 70 of Oregon’s 83 points. Brooks has now scored in double-figures 25 of his 27 games.

·         Boucher is now the only player in Pac-12 history and the second player in Division I history to block 100 plus shots and make 30 plus 3-pointers in one season. He also owns the school’s record for blocked shots at 101.

·         Oregon made at least one three-pointer in 629 straight games, the last time the Ducks failed to do so was on Feb. 6, 1997.

·         Cook moved into 26th place in the Oregon career scoring with 1,153 points as he passed Terek Brown (1,152/1995-99).


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