Thursday, January 24, 2013
EUGENE — The last time No. 16 Oregon was 6-0 in league play, the Ducks were known as the Webfoots and the league was called the Pacific Coast Conference.
Oregon (17-2, 6-0 Pac-12) reached that mark for the first time since 1925-26 on Wednesday with a 68-61 victory over Washington State, a win that required a rally from the Ducks’ largest halftime deficit of the season.
E.J. Singler had 19 points — 14 in the second half — for Oregon. The Ducks trailed 39-29 at halftime before pulling out their eighth consecutive victory. Arsalan Kazemi added 16 points and freshman Damyean Dotson had 11 points and a career-high nine rebounds.
The win was Oregon’s 19th straight at home, tied for the sixth-longest active streak in the nation, and kept them alone in first place in the Pac-12.
“All that matters is we got the ‘W.’ We have to have the mindset that we’re the hunted now,” Singler said.
Mike Ladd had 19 points and Brock Motum scored 14 for the Cougars (10-9, 1-5), who shot just 27.3 percent in the second half.
“It seemed like they turned the heat up in the second half,” Washington State coach Ken Bone said of the Ducks. “There’s a reason why they’re ranked 16th in the country.”
Oregon opened the second half on a 9-0 run. A breakaway dunk by Carlos Emory trimmed WSU’s lead to 39-38 with 15:33 left.
Two free throws by Singler at the 11:45 mark gave the Ducks their first lead, 48-46.
“I was just feeling it,” Singler said. “Some of the guys gave me some good passes, and I knocked down the shots.”
“We bounced back and found a way,” Oregon coach Dana Altman said. “But you maybe get one of those a year, or two of those a year where you’re really outplayed in the first half. You get those double-digit deficits and if you think you’re going to come back from those every single game, you’re making a mistake.”
The Cougars appeared halfway to their first win against a ranked team since beating No. 18 Washington on Jan. 30, 2011. But WSU cooled off considerably in the second half. After making 7 of 13 three-point attempts in the first half, the Cougars missed all 11 in the second half.