LAS VEGAS – Oregon completed a mission that appeared unthinkable four weeks ago, capturing at NCAA Tournament berth when the Ducks hit Washington 68-48 Saturday night in the Pac-12 tournament championship game at T-Mobile Arena.
The Six-seeded Ducks, mired near the bottom of the Pac-12 standing in late February, got hot at the right time, as Saturday marked their eighth consecutive win. Oregon (23-12) finds out where it is headed Sunday, September 18, 2009 NCAA tourney bracket is revealed at 3 pm
Washington, the Pac-12 regular season champion, and Arizona State are expected to join the Ducks from the Pac-1
Oregon finished a 4-0 performance in the pac-12 tournament in the second half with a 20-7 run. Payton Pritchard scored 20 points, Louis King 15 and Paul White 14 to lead the Ducks.
As was the case a week ago in Oregon's 55-47 win at Washington, the Ducks' silenced the Huskies with defense. Washington (26-8) shot 33 percent (16 of 54) from the floor, and made only 5 of 23 shots from three-point range.
Washington's offense was so stagnant that the Huskies did not shoot their first free throws
Oregon led 28-26 at halftime after a first half where points often came out sparingly. The Huskies, 4 of 22 from three-point range a week ago against Oregon, made only 2 of 11 shots from behind the arc during the first half. The Ducks countered with nine first-half turnovers.
The biggest lead by either team was five points, which came when Pritchard knocked down a three-pointer for a 21-16 lead.
Oregon turned up the defensive heat early in the second half. During the first eight minutes, Washington's only basket came on a steal and dunk by Matisse Thybulle. The Ducks were ready to build a comfortable cushion, running off 14 consecutive points – seven from King – to extend the lead to 44-28.
Washington missed 12 of its first 13 shots of the second half. With a 16-point lead, Oregon was able to turn the final 10 minutes into a parade lap.