The first semifinal of the Pac-12 Tournament featured two teams who just recently played as the Ducks met up with the rival Beavers once again. Oregon is coming off a big win over Arizona State in which Oregon’s stars very much looked the part, while the Beavs are coming off a big comeback win over UCLA. The two teams split the regular season matchups at one apiece, as OSU got a big win in Eugene in January, while the Ducks got both their revenge and the Pac-12 season title in Corvallis just five days ago.
The hot hand early favored the Beavers, as Ethan Thompson hit a couple quick threes, looking to make up for his rough performance against the Ducks this past Sunday. Omoruyi was finding success for the Ducks down low, weaving his way through the Oregon State defense for some crafty finishes. Oregon State then proceeded to go on an 8-1 run over the Ducks, outmuscling the Ducks on finishes in the paint. The Beavers were playing with more energy than the Ducks, who were looking for someone to spark a run to pull themselves back into the game.
A two-handed Duarte finish broke the Beavers run, but the Ducks were still down 18-11 after a four minute scoreless run. Luckily, that dunk spurred a 10-0 run to temporarily take the lead before the Beavers responded with a 7-0 run of their own to retake the lead, 25-19. After a slow start, Oregon was starting to get back into the flow of the game, but wasn’t knocking down three pointers with the same success they’ve had of late. Getting those shots to fall would be key to the Ducks taking control down the stretch.
Turnovers continued to plague Oregon, and OSU was taking full advantage of the Ducks’ sloppiness, as the Beavers pushed their lead to 12 with just a minute left in the first half. The Beavers took a 38-28 lead into the half. The Ducks had a lot of work to do if they wanted to make up for a rough first half.
Roman Silva kicked off the scoring in the second half, meanwhile Eugene Omoruyi took a taste of his own medicine as he got called for an offensive foul. The Beavers’ lead was growing stronger by the minute and the Ducks were in danger of falling too far behind. Ethan Thompson continued to scorch the Ducks from deep, all 15 of his points were on three-point attempts. All that coming from a guy who was shooting less than 30% on threes coming into this contest. Meanwhile Oregon was currently shooting 2-13 on threes, they couldn’t buy a bucket from downtown.
Chris Duarte was once again the player to end another scoring draught, as his three was the first basket for the Ducks in almost four minutes. The Ducks still trailed 55-39, but had time to get back into it. Despite Duarte and the rest of Oregon’s best efforts, they still had trouble chipping away at the Beavers lead because they weren’t getting the stops they needed, especially in the paint. Oregon State’s Andela was eating the Ducks alive down low, and the Ducks had no answer.
LJ Figueroa hit a three to bring Oregon to within ten points of the Beavers, as the Ducks turned up the pressure on defense trying to force OSU into a few mistakes to help turn the tide. A couple Omoruyi baskets brought the Ducks to striking distance as they trailed by just five, the result of a 15-3 run by the Ducks as OSU had gone cold from the floor. A big Lucas three broke the slump and gave the Beavers an eight point lead, which they ran back up to 12 as Oregon kept missing three-point shots as time dwindled down. The Ducks got out-rebounded and missed too many threes as their bitter rivals knocked them out of the Pac-12 Tournament, 75-64
After watching the Ducks run ASU out of the building, this was obviously a disappointing result. Oregon stuck to their gameplan, but missed far too many shots to really give themselves a chance. All credit to the Beavers for a big win as they advance to the Tournament final, as the Ducks will prep for the Big Dance.