Cougars Hold On To Beat Oregon 75-70

LOS ANGELES – The Washington State Cougars led by as much as 20, but had to hold on to beat the Oregon Ducks 75-70 and advance to the semifinals of the Pac-10 Tournament at the Staples Center in Los Angeles.

The Cougars will now play the Stanford Cardinal on Friday night at 8:30 p.m.  Stanford beat the Arizona Wildcats 75-64 in the late game on Thursday night.

Washington State had its buggest lead just before halftime, when they led 42-22 with 46 seconds remaining in the half.  But the Ducks chipped away throughout the second half, and got within four at 68-64 when Tejuan Porter hit a three-pointer.  But that was as close as Oregon got, and WSU put the game away at the foul line.

WSU got off to a very quick start, leading 16-5 six minutes into the game.  They also went on a 11-2 run late in the first half before taking a 42-27 lead at the half.  The Cougars shot 61.5 percent in the half, including 5-7 from three-point range.  Oregon shot 48 percent.

But Oregon wouldn’t go away, and behind Porter’s hot shooting, they got back into the game.  The Duck sophomore scored 10 points in a 14-4 Oregon run that got them back within seven points at 58-51 with nine minutes remaining, and it started to look like WSU had lost control of the game.

But the Cougars hung tough, and although it was tight the rest of the game, WSU never lost the lead.  Although WSU didn’t have a field goal in the last 3:49 of the game, they were 9-14 from the free throw line in that span, helping them take the game.

WSU shot much worse in the second half, shooting 41 percent from the field and making no three-pointers.  Oregon improved greatly, shooting 58 percent in the second half.  Porter scored 17 points for the Ducks in the second half, but to no avail.

Derrick Low led the Cougars with 18 points, while Taylor Rochestie added 16 and Kyle Weaver had 14points and seven assists.  Robbie Cowgill had six rebounds to lead WSU, and he also scored 12 points.

Porter and Malik Hairston led the Ducks with 20 points, while Maarty Leunen added 11.  Hairston was also Oregon’s leading rebounder with seven.

Washington State held on to the ball very well.  They had just seven turnovers for the game, while Oregon had 13.

With the win, the Cougars completed a three-game sweep of the Ducks for the season.  Oregon had won the previous 13 games between the two teams.

In the other quarterfinal games on Thursday, UCLA hammered California 88-66 and USC got past Arizona State 59-55.  The Bruins and Trojans will play each other in the first semifinal on Friday night.