No. 5 Oregon disposes of Cal to reach Pac-12 final

The Sports Xchange

LAS VEGAS -- Dylan Ennis converted a three-point play with 22.6 seconds left to secure fifth-ranked and No. 1 seed Oregon's 73-65 victory over fifth-seeded Cal in a semifinal game of the Pac-12 tournament on Friday night at T-Mobile Arena.

Ennis had 11 of his 16 points in the second half to help lead the Ducks (29-4) into the championship game on Saturday against the winner of Arizona and UCLA. He followed his three-point play with two free throws with 12 seconds remaining.


Tyler Dorsey led the Ducks with 23 points and Jordan Bell had a game-high 15 rebounds and five blocked shots.

"It wasn't a pretty win because offensively our whole team was out of rhythm," Oregon coach Dana Altman said, referring to the Ducks' 42.9 percent shooting from the field. "But we showed character scrapping our way to a tough win."

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California (21-12) must await its fate for the NCAA Tournament. Grant Mullins led the Golden Bears with 23 points. He made all five of his 3-point attempts. Charlie Moore added 15 points.

California guard Jabari Bird went to the locker room after landing awkwardly on his head while trying to block a shot with 18:54 left in the first half. He did not return to the game because of concussion evaluations.


Bird averaged 23 points in the Golden Bears' first two games in the tournament against Oregon State and Utah.

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"It's a big loss especially on the offensive side of the ball, that level of production," Cal coach Cuonzo Martin said. "So you have guys playing multiple minutes and more minutes than they normally play against a team of that caliber.

"It's not an easy thing to do, but I thought our guys did a great job battling and competing."

A jumper by Cal's Ivan Rabb narrowed the lead to 66-63 with 2:57 left. The Golden Bears had two opportunities to cut into the lead more but committed a turnover and Kingsley Okoroh missed a shot in the lane.

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Dillon Brooks made one of two free throws with 1:17 left to give Oregon a 67-63 lead. Moore answered with two free throws for Cal with 44 seconds left. Ennis followed with his game-clinching three-point play after he was fouled by Okoroh while making a layup.

Brooks, the Pac-12 player of the year, picked up his fourth foul with 18:02 left in regulation with Oregon leading 40-35. He did not return until 5:39 remaining and Oregon up 64-57.


"It was tough having to sit that long, but I always have confidence in my teammates and they lived up to that," said Brooks, who finished with 10 points and six rebounds.

The Ducks built their lead to 49-37 after going on a 9-0 run that included four points by Ennis. Cal missed four shots and committed two turnovers in the game-turning run.

The Golden Bears cut the lead to 59-55 with 8:53 left on Mullins' fourth 3-pointer of the game. His fifth 3-pointer without a miss from the range trimmed the Oregon led to 64-60 with 4:24 left.

"Once you see a few go in, it obviously helps your confidence," said Mullins, a graduate transfer from Columbia. "But I think a lot of my shots were off broken plays, and Charlie and those guys were just able to find me."

Cal led most of the first half after building an 8-0 lead. Oregon took its first lead of the half at 24-23 with 6:24 remaining on two free throws by Chris Boucher.

The Golden Bears answered with two 3-pointers by Mullins to lead 29-24 with 4:38 left in the half. Mullins scored 11 points in the first half while making all three of his 3-pointers.


Oregon closed its scoring in the last minute of the half with a 3-pointer by Dorsey and two free throws by Bell to build a 36-33 lead at the half. Dorsey had 13 points on 5-of-7 shooting from the field, making all three attempts from 3-point range, in the first half.


-- Oregon entered the game second nationally at 6.8 blocks per game. The Ducks' 216 blocks were within striking distance of the Oregon (221) and Pac-12 (224) season records, both of which were set last season.

-- Cal G Jabari Bird became the first Golden Bears player to score at least 20 points in consecutive Pac-12 tournament games since Theo Robertson in 2010.

-- Oregon G Dillon Brooks is the 13th player in school history to reach 1,500 career points. He is only the second player to do that as a junior, joining Ron Lee, who had 1,527 points at that point.

-- Columbia graduate transfer G Grant Mullins made multiple 3-pointers in 11 consecutive games from Jan. 12 to Feb. 22. He has made at least one 3-pointer against every Pac-12 opponent.

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