Oregon 79, Washington State 77 (OT)

The SportsXchange

PULLMAN, Wash. -- E.J. Singler sank two free throws with 3.8 seconds left in overtime to lift 23rd-ranked Oregon past Washington State 79-77 Saturday night.

Singler led the Ducks (21-5, 10-3 Pac-12) with 25 points. He sank the tiebreaking free throws after being deliberately fouled near midcourt by Dexter Kernich-Drew, who lost track of the score after teammate Royce Woolridge tied it by making a 3-pointer with 6.9 seconds to go.

Woolridge scored a career-high 36 points for Washington State (11-15, 2-11). The last-place Cougars blew an 11-point halftime lead against the first-place Ducks.

Carlos Emory scored 19 points and Damyean Dotson added 16 for the Ducks. Brock Motum, with 12 points, was the only Washington State player besides Woolridge in double figures.

The victory was the third straight for the Ducks and their fifth straight against the Cougars. Washington State has lost six in a row.

The Ducks trailed most of the game but started fast in the second half and briefly led. Oregon missed two shots in the final seconds of regulation, then went ahead for good when Johnathan Loyd sank an inside basket for a 73-72 lead with three minutes left in overtime.

Woolridge, a sophomore transfer from Kansas, sank 9 of 12 shots from the field, 5 of 8 3-pointers and 10 of 11 free throws. His previous career high was 20 points against Portland on Dec. 1.

The Cougars, who led Oregon by 10 at halftime on Jan. 23 in a 68-61 loss in Eugene, led 38-27 at the half in the second meeting. Sparked by Woolridge's torrid shooting, the Cougars erased an early 11-10 deficit with a 15-2 run.

Oregon struggled to solve Washington State's 2-3 zone defense. The Ducks shot 33.3 percent from the field in the first half, including 28.6 percent on 3-pointers, and sank just 5 of 10 free throws. The Cougars shot 46.2 percent from the field and on 3-pointers and hit 72.7 percent of their free throws.

NOTES: Washington State athletic director Bill Moos told The (Tacoma, Wash.) News Tribune that he has yet to decide whether to retain coach Ken Bone next season. Bone, who has drawn considerable criticism from fans, has three years left on a seven-year contract that pays him $850,000 per season. Moos said Bone's fate will not be determined by money alone. Bone has yet to experience a losing season at WSU, but none of his four teams have posted a winning conference record. ... Oregon starting center Tony Woods was ejected from the game for knocking down Motum with a flagrant foul midway through the first half. No foul was called until Bone asked the officials to check videotape. ... Both starting point guards sat out the game. Oregon's Dominic Artis has missed seven games with a foot injury. Washington State's Mike Ladd has missed two games with a knee injury.
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