EUGENE, Ore. (AP)—Trailing at halftime and without an ounce of momentum going No. 24 Oregon’s way, E.J. Singler still wasn’t worried.
“Naw,” the Ducks forward said, “I knew we were gonna win.”
They did, and it wasn’t even all that close.
Carlos Emory scored a career-high 21 points and Oregon (23-6, 12-4 Pac-12) completed the season sweep of the Civil War series with an 85-75 victory over Oregon State on Thursday night.
Arsalan Kazemi had 17 points and 12 rebounds, Tony Woods added 16 points, and Johnathan Loyd scored 12 for the Ducks (23-6, 12-4 Pac-12), who took a one-half game lead in the conference over idle UCLA.
“It was a good win for our team,” Oregon coach Dana Altman said. “We really battled back in the second half. We’re still in the conference race and I reminded them of that. We had a lot to play for.”
The win was the fifth in six games for Oregon, which improved to 17-2 at Matthew Knight Arena to tie the school’s single-season record for wins at home.
Oregon trailed 51-46 near the midpoint of the second half before going on an 18-3 run to take a 64-54 lead with 8:59 to play.
Woods scored seven points during that stretch, and point guard Dominic Artis, who missed the previous nine games with a foot injury, gave the Ducks the lead for good with a 3-pointer that made it 55-52 at the 11:29 mark.
Oregon maintained a double-digit lead for the rest of the game, peaking at 83-70 with 1:50 to play.
“I had full confidence in the guys. I knew we would regroup in the second half and we did,” said Singler, who had nine points and six assists. “We came out and played really good on defense, got some turnovers and we executed offensively. I knew that we would come back and I wasn’t really that worried.”
Roberto Nelson scored 31 for the Beavers (13-16, 3-13), and Devon Collier added 14 points.
Nelson, the Pac-12’s leading scorer in conference games, was unstoppable in the first half, scoring 22 points on 9-of-13 shooting. Nine of his points came in the final 4 minutes of the half, including a 3-pointer at the buzzer, as the Beavers overcame a 29-25 deficit to lead 41-34 at halftime.
But Oregon State cooled off in the second half and went through a 5:30-minute stretch without making a field goal and the Ducks took advantage with their game-changing run.
Oregon appeared to suffer a devastating loss with 6:37 left in the first half when starting freshman guard and second-leading scorer Damyean Dotson fell hard to the court on a drive to the basket and had to be carried off the court and to the locker room by teammates.
Dotson, who had 21 points against Oregon State in the first meeting this season, returned to the bench for the second half but didn’t play.
Altman said that injured his hip and could need a week to recover.
Emory took Dotson’s spot in the lineup to start the second half and scored 15 points after the break. He finished the game 8 for 13 from the field.
The Ducks welcomed the return of Artis, who played for the first time since Jan. 23. The freshman played 12 minutes off the bench and finished with six points. His presence was especially critical in the second half when Loyd, who has started in place of Artis, picked up his fourth foul with 14:07 still to play.
“Man, what a difference he made,” Altman said of Artis.
The Ducks shot 51 percent from the field—their best performance in 10 games—and with just 10 turnovers, had five less than their season average. The Beavers shot 47 percent from the field and outrebounded the Ducks 32-28. They committed 18 turnovers that Oregon turned into 23 points.