Oregon keeps rolling in Pac-12

Steve Mims, The Sports Xchange
The SportsXchange

EUGENE, Ore. -- Oregon continued its best start to conference play in 87 years.
E.J. Singler scored 18 points to lift the 16th-ranked Ducks to an 81-76 win over Washington on Saturday night in front of a season-high, sellout crowd of 12,331 at Matthew Knight Arena.
Oregon (18-2) improved to 7-0 in the Pac-12 Conference and boosted its lead over second-place UCLA to 1 1/2 games.
"It's still too early," Oregon coach Dana Altman said. "I told the guys this is a league of big swings because you have two games at home and two on the road so you can get out of the race with a bad week and a good week gets you in. It is nice to be 7-0, but we have a lot of work to do. One bad week can change things really quick."
Singler was 7 of 9 from the field to help the Ducks shoot 57.8 percent. Arsalan Kazemi had 11 points and 11 rebounds for Oregon, and Carlos Emory also had 11 points.
"I think we just ran our offense really well," Singler said. "We got good shots and knocked them down. If we can continue to do that, we're really good."
The Ducks led 43-40 after Andrew Andrews scored for Washington early in the second half, but then Oregon forced three straight turnovers and scored after each one of them.
Willie Moore converted a three-point play off a pass from Singler and then Singler got a steal and layup to push Oregon's lead to 48-40. Singler added a jumper that put the Ducks ahead 50-40 with 14:19 left in the game.
"The press was really good and gave us a boost," Altman said. "It was very effective for us. Gave us a little cushion there and we were able to play from there."
The Huskies closed to 54-48 on a 3-pointer by Abdul Gaddy, but Waverly Austin made two free throws for Oregon and Kazemi converted a three-point play to push the Ducks ahead 59-48 with 10:44 left to play.
Austin extended the lead to 64-51 with an inside basket and then Emory made it 66-52 on two free throws with 7:21 left.
Washington made one last run and trailed 74-68 after C.J. Wilcox made a 3-pointer with 1:15 left and then Scott Suggs added a 3-pointer to close the Huskies to 76-71 with 52 seconds left.
Shawn Kemp Jr. added two free throws to get the Huskies to 77-73 with 31.5 seconds left before Singler made two free throws for the Ducks.
"They were the better team," Washington coach Lorenzo Romar said. "They were ranked 16th in the country and might be better than that after this week. They are a good basketball team and we knew the challenge."
Andrews scored 15 points and Wilcox had 14 as Washington lost its third straight game to drop to 4-3 in conference and 12-8 overall. Gaddy and Suggs both scored 13 points and Kemp had 12 to help Washington shoot 51.9 percent from the field while committing 21 turnovers.
With 13:56 left in the first half, Oregon broke a 10-10 tie when Singler drilled a 3-pointer. The Ducks extended the lead to 18-14 when Tony Woods made two free throws with 1:19 to play.
The Huskies closed to 23-22 on a dunk by Aziz N'Diaye and then Wilcox put the Huskies ahead for the second time in the game at 24-23 with a steal and layup with 7:50 left in the half.
Oregon went back into the lead at 26-24 on two free throws by Johnathan Loyd, but the Huskies tied the score twice before Emory capped a fast break with a dunk that put Oregon ahead 30-28. Then Emory beat the shot clock with a 3-pointer to help Oregon build a 37-33 halftime lead.
NOTES: Oregon freshman point guard Dominic Artis missed the game and will be out indefinitely with a foot injury. Artis started the first 19 games of the season and averaged 10.2 points and a team-high 3.8 assists per game. He ranks fourth in the Pac-12 with 1.7 steals per game. He was replaced in the starting lineup by Loyd, who averages 2.8 points per game. ... Oregon's No. 16 ranking in the Associated Press poll this week is its highest since December 2007. ... Oregon has won 20 straight games at home, which ranks third in school history.

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