The 1-Seed Oregon Ducks blew past the 8-Seed Arizona State Sun Devils behind an inspired performance from LJ Figueroa. The 91-73 victory over ASU punched Oregon’s ticket to the PAC-12 Tournament Semifinal game.
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - LJ Figueroa led the way for the Ducks by scoring a team-high 21 points on 9-of-16 shooting from the floor. The senior also hit three of his five shots from three-point land and scored 14 points in the second half to help the Ducks pull away from the short-handed Sun Devils.
Oregon took an early 6-0 lead thanks to triples from Will Richardson and Eugene Omoruyi, however, the Ducks as a team struggled with their accuracy early in the contest, hitting just three of their first 12 shots from the floor.
Strong play from Alonzo Verge Jr. and Jalen Graham resulted in the Sun Devils taking a two-point lead twice in the first half, but a bucket from Richardson began a 14-2 Oregon run that gave the Ducks a 29-19 lead with 4:54 left in the half. The Ducks never trailed after those brief moments in the opening frame and finished the half with a 35 to 27 lead.
From there Oregon never looked back. The Ducks steamrolled their way towards a game-high 24-point lead with 3:21 left on the clock, allowing Altman to give his starters some much-needed rest and his bench some valuable minutes.
The Ducks seem to be in a good place at the moment as Richardson (17 points, 9 assists, 7 rebounds) did a fantastic impression of Payton Pritchard, Omoruyi (15 points, 6 rebounds, 2 assists) once again finished with a double-digit score and Amauri Hardy and Chandler Lawson put in quality minutes off the bench, scoring 11 and 10 points, respectively.
Despite the slow start, Oregon finished 59.0 percent from the floor and 10-of-18 from deep. Dana’s tenacious D held the Sun Devils to 43.5 percent shooting and 35.7 percent from three. Outside of Verge Jr. (28 points) and Remy Martin (16 points), no Sun Devil scored more than 10 points.
Oregon returns to the PAC-12 Tournament Semifinal for the seventh time out of their last eight appearances where they will take on the winner of the UCLA-Oregon State game.
NEXT UP: Oregon State or UCLA
Friday, 5:30 PM, PAC-12 Network - Las Vegas, Nevada