Oregon beats Arizona State in Pac-12 tournament

By Anthony Gimino, The Sports Xchange

March 10 LAS VEGAS -- Oregon often uses a small lineup, with Pac-12 player of the year Dillon Brooks as an undersized power forward, but that doesn't mean the Ducks can't rebound.

Fifth-ranked Oregon clamped down on defense against Arizona State in the second half Thursday, gobbling up boards and sparking transition opportunities to eventually bury the Sun Devils 80-57 in a Pac-12 tournament quarterfinal at T-Mobile Arena.


The Ducks, seeded No. 1 in the tournament, will play the winner of No. 4 seed Utah vs. No. 5 seed Cal.

"We limited them to one shot, so we were able to get a little burst there," said Oregon coach Dana Altman, whose team started the second half on a 12-2 run and finished with a 20-5 spurt.

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"If we're going to play a three-guard lineup, which we have consistently -- and at times four guards -- they really have to put themselves on the boards. They've got to block out against bigger guys. They've got to stick their nose in there all the time."


Brooks scored a team-high 22 points and had seven rebounds. Sophomore guard Tyler Dorsey had 21 points and tied his career high with nine boards. Senior guard Dylan Ennis grabbed a career-best 12 rebounds.

Oregon (28-4) had a 48-29 edge on the glass as Arizona State, other than guard Torian Graham, went cold from the field.

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Graham scored 32 points, hitting 11 of 24 shots, including 7 of 16 from 3-point range. He didn't have enough help, as his teammates made only three shots after halftime. The rest of ASU's usual 3-point attack -- guards Tra Holder, Shannon Evans and Kodi Justice -- went 2 of 13 from behind the arc for the game.

"Torian, he handled himself in such a great way to finish his senior year, and he's been so good all year for us," said ASU coach Bobby Hurley. "Scoring 32 was a great way for it to end. But it's hard when it ends. It doesn't feel good."

Oregon quickly turned a three-point halftime lead into a more comfortable advantage, with Ennis hitting a driving layup 17 seconds into the half and the Ducks breaking off a 10-0 run soon after.


Arizona State, playing its second game in two days, lost its shooting legs. The Sun Devils (15-18) missed 12 of their first 13 shots from the field in the second half -- including an airball from Graham -- and fell behind 52-36 on center Chris Boucher's dunk with 13:04 left, prompting a timeout from Hurley.

"I didn't have the best plan to attack them," Hurley said. "Some of that could be a physical toll -- just not having the gear that you need to go by your man off the dribble and make a play."

Arizona State produced a final Graham-fueled flurry, as he scored 14 points in about four minutes, capped by a four-point play when he was fouled by guard Casey Benson on a 3-point make. Graham's free throw cut the lead to 60-52 with 7:17 to go.

The Ducks finished the game with a 20-5 run. Brooks and Dorsey combined for 15 of those points for Oregon.

"Just taking whatever the defense gave me," Dorsey said. "They were playing up tight, so I just swept through and got to the rim. We got on the glass tonight, which helped us a lot."


The game was close throughout the first half -- neither team led by more than five points -- with Oregon's balanced scoring offset by Graham's hot hand. He had 16 points in the half, making 4 of 5 3-point shots.

Brooks broke a deadlock in the final minute with a straightaway 3-pointer with 48 seconds to go before the break, giving the Ducks a 34-31 halftime lead.


-- Oregon has won six consecutive games over Arizona State.

-- Arizona State made 328 3-pointers this season, the second-most in Pac-12 history. Sun Devils G Torian Graham hit 108 from behind the arc, moving into sixth on the Pac-12 list for most in a season.

-- Bobby Hurley is 30-35 in two seasons as ASU's head coach.

-- Oregon F Dillon Brooks was chosen as a first-team All-American by USA Today. That's the first first-team All-American recognition for an Oregon player since G Aaron Brooks in 2007.

-- Oregon, which came in averaging 6.8 blocks per game, had four. The Ducks have swatted 216 shots, closing in on the school record (221) and Pac-12 mark (224).

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