Oregon rides big second half to win over Colorado, in driver's seat for Pac-12 Tourney bye

It didn't start out pretty for the Ducks.

Colorado shot 63% in the first half, and watched Oregon find all sorts of creative ways to turn the ball over en route to a five point Buffalo lead at the half.

Fortunately, the second half was almost the complete opposite of that.

Colorado went seven minutes without a field goal--a stretch that resulted in a 22-7 Oregon run--to build a lead that the Ducks would not relinquish on the way to a 90-81 victory.

Oregon shot well over 70% for the second half, keyed by the Ducks' duo of senior guards. Devoe Joseph took the game over, scoring at will, often with a hand in his face to finish with 24 points on 11-16 shooting, and when the Buffaloes finally started doubling Joseph, Garrett Sim finished the deal with 19 of his own, including five three pointers.

Despite the hot shooting, Oregon couldn't put Colorado away, and the Buffaloes cut it to four with 1:06 to go. The Buffaloes did the right thing, in forcing the ball to Tyrone Nared, who had scored only once in his last eight games and was a 65% free throw shooter for the season. They did this three times. And Nared iced the game by going 6-6 from the line (as well as having an outstanding block defensively). Carlos Emory had another solid game with 14 points, and EJ Singler added ten.

The win puts Oregon in a tie with Arizona for 3rd place in the conference, but Oregon holds the tiebreaker due to their head to head win in Tucson. That deal is not sealed yet, as Oregon must beat Utah on Saturday to clinch that seed, and the first round bye that comes with it. It also keeps alive the Ducks' perilous at-large chances for the NCAA Tournament, while knocking Colorado off the bubble.

A great win for the Ducks against a quality opponent, but it doesn't mean anything if they slip up against the Utes this weekend. That game will also be senior night for five Oregon seniors: Joseph, Nared, Sim, Olu Ashaolu, and Jeremy Jacob.

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