No. 16 Oregon rallies past Washington State
Eugene, OR (Sports Network) - E.J. Singler scored 19 points, and 16th-ranked Oregon rallied to beat a pesky Washington State team, 68-61, on Wednesday.
Arsalan Kazemi added 16 points and seven rebounds for the Ducks (17-2, 6-0 Pac-12), who are off to their best start in conference play since the 1925-26 season. Then, Oregon was a member of the Pacific Coast Conference (PCC).
Damyean Dotson chipped in 11 points for Oregon, which has won eight straight games overall and 19 in a row at Matthew Knight Arena.
Mike Ladd scored 19 to go with eight rebounds and five assists for the Cougars (10-9, 1-5), who were ahead by 10 at halftime, but shot just 6-of-22 from the field in the final 20 minutes. Brock Motum had 14 points in defeat.
Oregon missed six of its first eight shots and was behind 10-4, but the Ducks later used pressure defense and were within 32-29 following a 9-3 spurt. Kazemi's 3-point play capped the burst with nearly two minutes left in the half.
Washington State, though, scored the final seven of the half to take a 39-29 cushion into the locker room.
Carlos Emory's dunk finished a 9-0 run by the hosts to start the second half, and Oregon finally went in front, 48-46, on a pair of Singler free throws with under 12 minutes to go.
The Cougars went back in front, 53-52, on a layup from Royce Woolridge with nearly 7 1/2 minutes left, but Kazemi's layup put the Ducks on top again, and it was a lead they wouldn't relinquish.
Kazemi's jam widened the gap to 64-57 with 2 1/2 minutes left, and Oregon made its free throws down the stretch.
"It was really a game of two halves. They really took it to us the first half. They outrebounded us, outfought us, they won almost every stat," Oregon coach Dana Altman said. "Second half was a lot different. Our guys' energy was a lot better. We were a step slow the first half, I don't know the reason for that, but we weren't ready to play."
Oregon has won the last four meetings ... WSU's last road win in the series came Jan. 17, 2009 ... Fourth-year Cougar head coach Ken Bone is 1-7 against Oregon ... The Cougars' last win at a ranked opponent came at No. 14 Arizona State, Feb. 28, 2009 ... The No. 16 ranking is Oregon's highest since being ranked 16th the week of Dec. 10, 2007 ... The Ducks are in the midst of their third-longest home-court winning streak in school history, trailing 23-game winning streaks set from 1936-39 and 2001-03.