Going into the Pac-12 tournament, it was a given that most teams in Vegas could make a serious run at winning this thing.
Oregon was definitely one of those teams as it was on a four-game win streak before this week began. The Ducks’ streak has continued and now they find themselves in the conference finals to face a very familiar foe.
The Ducks will face Washington with a trip to the NCAA tournament on the line Saturday night at 7:30 on ESPN.
But to get to the finals, Oregon had to beat Arizona State in the semis and while it took an extra five minutes of action, the Ducks defeated the Sun Devils 79-75 in overtime.
Louis King led the Ducks with 19 points on a bum ankle he tweaked in the second half. Payton Pritchard added 18 points, with most of those coming late in the second half and overtime. Paul White poured in 14 points on four three-pointers, including one with 2:40 left to bring the Ducks back to 65-64.
Arizona State build up a nine-point lead that Oregon chipped away at for the last 10 minutes of the game. Ironically, the comeback was complete from the defensive star of Ehab Amin. The senior transfer hit a corner three with 1:34 left to make it 67-67.
Amin finished the game with 13 points, six rebounds and three huge steals.
Arizona State had a chance to win the game in regulation, but it missed a three-pointer at the buzzer.
Once the overtime period begin, it was all Ducks as they scored the first seven points to grab a 74-67 lead before holding on to the win.
Now at 22-12 overall, Oregon plays a Husky team that it just defeated on the road last
“We’ll be familiar with their sets, but they’ll be familiar with us,” Oregon coach Dana Altman said of the Huskies. “They’re a bunch of vets that are used to go being in close games, physical games. So we’ll have a good battle with them. The two games that we had both went down to the wire. So I’m sure we’ll be ready to play. They’ll be ready to play. And it should be a pretty good game.”
~ Don Smalley