Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

Ducks put on a furious comeback but lose 83-80

LAS VEGAS – Oregon battled from behind for most of the game and even though the score was within two with just 26 seconds left in the game, the Ducks could not overcome the smooth shooting of Arizona and failed to win its third straight Pac-12 Conference Tournament championship, 83-80.

“I thought that it was two teams that played really hard,” said Oregon’s Dana Altman of the game. “The difference in the game was the start of the second half.”

 Tyler Dorsey again was the scoring hero in the second half scoring 21 or his 23 total points after the half. Dillon Brooks finished as the game high scorer with 25, but 17 of those points came in the first half and in the second, Brooks spent precious time on the bench saddled with four fouls. Brooks eventually was disqualified with five personals with four seconds left in the game.

There was a bit of a pall over the Ducks as it was announced just before the game started the center Chris Boucher had torn his anterior cruciate ligament and will be lost for the remainder of the season.

” Chris is a very talented young man, and he’s a big part of our team,” observed Altman on the loss of Boucher and the effect on the game. “But that’s part of any season.”

The game started off well enough for the Ducks as they and early 10-6 lead, but gradually Arizona, behind the play of Allonzo Trier, Kadeem Allen and Lauri Markkanen, kept finding ways to score while the Ducks relied solely on Brooks for offense. Even though Brooks canned 17 in the first half, he was the only Duck to score more than four points.

Trailing 35-29 at the half, the Ducks needed to find its defensive intensity as they had done in the previous two games, but for first nine minutes of the second half, Arizona maintained a lead of more than 10 points.

Around the 11:09 mark following a media timeout, the Ducks seemed to find some energy and steadily trimmed Arizona’s lead and with 9:05 left in the contest the score was 60-56. However, every time the Ducks, primarily behind Dorsey’s scoring were ready to get even closer than four points, Arizona found ways of hitting big shots.

“I loved the way our guys battled back,” admitted Altman. “I don’t know what we got down, 13, 14 points, but our guys really, really battled back.”

When the Wildcats’ Chance Comanche hit a jumper that extended Arizona’s lead to 8 at the 3:38, things started to look bleak again. Still though, following Comanche’s score, Dylan Ennis was fouled and sank two free throws and the Payton Pritchard stole the ball from Markkanen who compounded his mistake by fouling Jordan Bell in a mad scramble for a rebound. Bell calmly sank two free throws and UA’s lead was again back to four at 74-70.

Even though Allen tipped the ball in to make it 76-70, Dorsey made a layup and Sean Miller called a 30-second timeout with the score 76-72.

The smallest man on the court, Parker Jackson-Cartwright snuck in for his own layup making it 78-72 with 1:38 left on the clock. The Ducks however, wouldn’t go away and Brooks drilled a 3-pointer and the Arizona lead was thee at 78-75.

From that point on though, the Ducks were called for six fouls with in the last 1:38, but while Arizona could have closed things out, missed five consecutive free throws and when Bell converted a shot at point blank range, the score was 79-77 with 26 seconds left in the game.

After a 20-second timeout Pritchard was again called for a foul and this time Trier canned both freebees and only 17 seconds were left in the game. Dorsey missed a 3-pointer that Arizona rebounded, Brooks was called for the foul going for the rebound and Trier again saved the day by hitting both his free throws and the score was 83-77. Dorsey did make his final 3-pointer but the buzzer sounded as his shot went through the hoop and the scoreboards showed Arizona 83, Oregon 80.

Oregon shot 43.1 percent from the field on 25-of-58 shooting and hit a total of six 3-pointers. Brooks was Oregon’s leading scorer with 25 while Dorsey had 23. Bell finished with 16 points and 10 rebounds while Ennis ended up with 12.

Arizona shot 58.0 percent from the field on 29-50 shooting that included six 3-pointers. The Wildcats were 19-of-25 from the line while Oregon was 24-of-30.

Trier was the leading Wildcat scorer with 23, while Allen added 13 with Markkanen contributing 11 and Comanche chipping in 10.

The Wildcats held a 35-25 rebounding advantage.

Dorsey and Brooks were named to the Pac-12 All-Tournament Team while Trier was named Most Outstanding Player for the tournament.

Now the Ducks wait for tomorrow and Selection Sunday. Many predict Oregon will be the No. 2 Seed in the West, but that remains to be seen after the loss tonight.

Notes:

The 2017 Pac-12 Tournament at T-Mobile Arena set a new tourney record for total attendance at 86,910 in the four days of competition. Tonight’s attendance was 18,927.

 Kavell Bigby-Williams’ block with 13:00 remaining in the second half which gave Oregon the single-season blocked shots record with 225, breaking the 224-record set by Washington last season. Oregon has a total of 226 blocked shots this season.

Bell recorded his sixth double-double of the season and eighth in his career.


eDuck Top Stories