Oregon loses to USC, falls short of Pac-12 championship game
Oregon’s NCAA Tournament hopes came crashing down on Friday night.
After narrowly winning their first two games of the Pac-12 Tournament, the Ducks suffered an embarrassing 74-54 loss to USC in the semifinals. Oregon needed to win the conference tourney to make the dance, so Friday’s loss ended any hopes the Ducks had of accomplishing that.
More than likely, Oregon won’t hear its name called in two days on Selection Sunday and will await its seeding in the NIT.
MiKyle McIntosh scored 21 points and Elijah Brown 16 on Friday but the two didn’t get much help elsewhere. Oregon shot 33 percent from the field, 27 percent from three, and turned the ball over 14 times. The Trojans turned it over 20 times but shot 50 percent from the field and made ten of the 23 threes they attempted.
Jonah Mathews had a game to remember, scoring a career-high 27 points on 8-10 shooting and 7-9 from three. At one point, the Trojans led 50-25 and by as much 28 in the second half.
The only time the game was close was in the first nine minutes of the game. With 11 minutes, 38 seconds left the game was tied at 17. But Oregon went cold from the field and USC rattled off a 9-0 run over the next five minutes to jump ahead 26-17. Oregon pulled it within 29-23, but the Trojans scored the last eight points of the half to take a 37-23 lead to the break.
USC continued the onslaught to start the second half. In the first five minutes of the second half the Trojans outscored Oregon 15-2 to take a 53-25 lead. Oregon whittled it down to 14 with 6:30 left in the game but couldn’t close strong.
The NIT selection show is at 5:30 p.m on Sunday on ESPNU. Oregon could be a higher seed in the tournament and could potentially host games at Matthew Knight Arena. The first round of the tournament begins on March 13.
Follow Gus Morris on Twitter @JustGusMorris
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