The #9 Oregon Ducks advance to the PAC-12 Championship Game after winning in overtime. They held off the 15th ranked Arizona Wildcats and won by a score of 95-89 at the MGM Grand Arena.
Oregon opens up big advantage
When the game started, the Ducks looked like the better of the two schools. They made their shots and hounded Arizona on the defensive side of the ball. Oregon went on a 10-2 run early in the proceedings. Elgin Cook and Chris Boucher lead the charge. Cook was immense on the defensive side, getting a block while hounding the boards. Boucher ran the show on offense as he hit a big three pointer following a steal.
These two have lead the way all season long for Oregon and the duo proved their worth once more. Cook, the Senior from Milwaukee, scored a game high 22 points. He also filled out the rest of the score sheet - coming away with 5 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 steals, and one block. His partner in crime, the Sophomore from Canada, finished the night second in scoring with 19.
But what makes Oregon so good is how many different options they have on offense. Of the seven that played significant minutes tonight, four scored in double digits. This was a big reason why the Ducks were able to build such a big lead. Dillon Brooks had a solid opening half, hitting a three to push Oregon's lead to 11. At the buzzer, he dunked the ball with authority after Arizona gave possession away once more.
Wildcats claw their way back
During the second half though, the Wildcats chipped at the lead. After Kadeem Allen made a couple of free throws, Gabe York hit a big three to reduce the deficit to ten. York though, did not have a good night. While he did come away with 21 points, those all came from behind the three point line. The Arizona senior missed 13 shots from and all but four came from deep.
With time dwindling down, it looked as if Arizona would lose without much drama. Mark Tollefson had other plans. The senior transfer drilled a three pointer with 20 seconds to get within four points. Then, York hit another three to get within just one point.
On the ensuing in bounds play, Tollefson stole the ball and heaved it right away and he got fouled. Mark Tollefson went to the line with a chance to win it for Arizona with 1 second remaining in the game. Tollefson though, missed the fist of the two free throws before sending the game to overtime.
In overtime, Arizona looked exhausted. They could not play any harder and Oregon had their way on offense. This included two big three's from Dwayne Benjamin and Brooks which killed the game.
Oregon will play the Utah Utes for a shot at the title. Should they manage to win, this would be their second PAC-12 Championship in three years.