"Pac 12 After Dark in the Palouse" sounds like a college weekend that seemed like fun at the start before going horribly wrong. That is exactly what happened in Pullman on Saturday night as the Ducks fell to Washington State in a 108-99 overtime shootout.
Josh Hawkinson led the Cougars with 26 points and 13 rebounds while DaVonte Lacy added another 24 points. Ike Iroegbu also had a big night for Washington State with 20 points.
For the Ducks, Joe Young led the way with 32 points, five rebounds and three assists while Elgin Cook scored 26 points and grabbed 10 rebounds. It looked as if both teams would easily break 100, but the Ducks hit just one field goal in overtime.
Washington State's 108 points were their most since 1998 when they scored 114 against Grambling.
The Ducks got off to a good start offensively, hitting three of their first five shots, including consecutive three-pointers from Dillon Brooks and Joe Young. Washington State hit four of their first five shots as the two teams combined for 31 points in the first four and a half minutes. It looked to be as if we were in for a shootout in the Palouse early on with both sides pushing the tempo.
The scoring settled down a little bit as neither team hit a basket for over two minutes before Oregon's Dwayne Benjamin and Washington State's Que Johnson hit consecutive three-pointers to start up the shootout again.
After a three-pointer by Ike Iroegbu gave Washington State a 22-17 lead, the Ducks responded with an 8-3 run as another three from Young gave the Ducks the lead back.
Josh Hawkinson helped the Cougs build up another lead with a big dunk and a jump shot as Washington State took a six-point lead. But to no surprise based off how the game started, the Ducks answered right back with consecutive baskets and a turnover, cutting Washington State's lead down to two points at the under-8 media timeout. Oregon reclaimed the lead when Elgin Cook converted a three-point play.
Hawkinson would head to the bench as he found himself in a little bit of early foul trouble, but the Cougars were able to keep up the scoring, taking a 57-52 lead into the half.
Considering Washington State's hot shooting during the first half, the Ducks were probably glad to find themselves only down by five after 20 minutes. During the opening half, the Cougars shot 72.4 percent from the field, including 77.8 percent from 3-point range. Washington State's 57 first half points were more than their entire point total from five different games this year.
Ike Iroegbu led the Cougars with 16 points in the first half while Joe Young led the Ducks with 15 points. Iroegbu had three of Washington State's seven three-pointers in the first half while Young had half of Oregon's six buckets from beyond the arc.
The Ducks opened the second half with more hot shooting, including another three-pointer from Joe Young. Ernie Kent was furious during the timeout at his team's poor defensive start after the momentum the Cougars had built going into the half. After a 9-0 run to start the second half, the Ducks found themselves in the lead once again.
But whatever punch the Ducks could deliver, the Cougs seemed to have an answer. A thunderous dunk from Junior Longrus fired up Ernie Kent and the crowd as Washington State jumped back out to a 73-69 lead.
How did Oregon respond to that? With a Joe Young three-pointer, obviously.
At the under-8 timeout, Washington State would once again build a small lead of five points as Ernie Kent was fired up once again from the bench. But thanks to good shooting at the free-throw line and a clutch layup from Dillon Brooks, the Ducks reclaimed the lead with just over six minutes left to play as part of an 8-0 run.
Washington State was having a complete opposite shooting performance from the first half, shooting just 36 percent during the second half at this point, exactly half of their shooting percentage during the first half. Oregon, meanwhile, stayed fairly consistent, shooting right around 55 percent during the second half at this point.
After a 3-pointer from Brett Boese sent a jolt of energy into the Cougars, the Ducks answered right back with consecutive dunks to silence the crowd. The teams continued to trade blows as Young and Boese answered each other's 3-pointers. With just under a minute to go, the Cougs led 93-91.
It's not fair that someone has to lose this game— David Piper (@atqdave) January 16, 2015
The Cougars caught a lucky break when Jordan Bell drove to the rim and hit a layup that was wiped out. Bell would have to earn the points at the line. Bell missed the first shot, but got a mulligan as the Cougars were called for a lane violation. Bell hit the first and missed the second as Washington State led 94-92 with 41 seconds left. Had there been no foul called, it would've been a tie game.
Oregon lost their first scorer with 39.6 seconds left as Jordan Bell fouled out, but fortunately for the Ducks, DaVonte Lacy only hit one free throw, keeping it a one point game and giving Oregon a chance to tie.
With everyone worried about Joe Young taking a potential game-winning shot, Young found Elgin Cook under the rim for the clutch game-tying layup to force overtime. Because how else did you think this game would end?
This is well past Josh Hawkinson's bed time. I hope he got a permission slip signed— Adam Butler (@pachoopsab) January 16, 2015
In overtime, Oregon struggled to hit their shots, allowing Washington State to build a 104-98 lead with 40 seconds to play. Needing to hit both free throws, Elgin Cook hit only one. Cook shoots less than 70 percent from the line, so he's not the guy you like to see there with the game on the line.
Oregon came up with a much needed turnover as Casey Benson got the Ducks the ball back with a steal, but Ahmaad Rorie missed the three-pointer. A turnover on their next possession essentially put the game away as Washington State capped off the overtime win.
The Ducks now head west to Seattle to take on the Washington Huskies on Sunday evening. The game is set to tip-off at 5:30 pm and will be televised on ESPNU, so we won't have to deal with the fine announcers at the Pac-12 Networks. I Hate Washington Day is always fun, and this one should be no different in a big game.