USA TODAY Sports
It wouldn't be a game in Pullman without Oregon winning in the most ridiculous way possible.
At some point, you almost feel bad for Washington State. In 2010, Oregon traveled to Pullman and won in double-overtime, a game that only went to OT because after what should have been a game winning shot with 0.3 seconds left, WSU players left the bench resulting in a technical foul, giving the Ducks a chance to tie. In 2007, the Ducks won in overtime when Maarty Leunen was fouled on a shot at the buzzer. Leunen made both, and the Ducks got the win.
Add another chapter to the saga.
Royce Woolridge hit a three-pointer with six seconds left in overtime to tie the game, but WSU's Dexter Kernich-Drew, thinking the Cougars were still behind, intentionally fouled E.J. Singler has he frantically dribbled up the floor in search of a last shot. Singler hit both free throws, giving the Ducks the 79-77 win.
The first half was a disaster for Oregon. Similar to when these two teams faced off earlier this season in Eugene, Washington State got hot from the perimeter and pounded Oregon on the offensive boards, while the Ducks put out sluggish effort on both ends. The Cougars were up 11 at the half, and it felt like it should have been 30. The lowlight of the half was Tony Woods being ejected for throwing an elbow at Brock Motum. Woods was originally given a flagrant-2, but that was later downgraded to a flagrant-1, meaning that Woods avoids a league-mandated suspension.
However, Oregon responded as soon as the second half began. Singler and Damyean Dotson caught fire, and the Ducks started the half on a 15-5 run in the first five minutes to pull within one. The teams would trade baskets for the next 14 minutes, with a pair of Singler free throws giving the Ducks a seemingly secure five point lead with 28 seconds to go. However, Motum hit a pair of free throws, followed by a pair of misses by Johnathan Loyd, who started after hyperextending his knee on Wednesday against Washington. DaVonte Lacy hit a three pointer from the corner with nine seconds left to tie the game. The Ducks had two chances at the end, but neither Dotson's jumper nor Singler's put back found net.
Woolridge's improbable three in overtime was of course rendered moot by the mental lapse, allowing Oregon to escape with the win.
Singler finshed with 25 for the Ducks, while Carlos Emory added 20 and Dotson chipped in 16. Royce Woolridge led the Cougars with 36, including six three-pointers.
Oregon didn't really deserve the victory, but they're not giving it back. They end the weekend with a de facto two-game lead on the conference, with the Bay Area schools coming to Eugene next week.