With 04.1 seconds remaining, MiKyle McIntosh waited for the precise moment to pass to an open Payton Pritchard. Oregon was down two and needed everything to fall into place to force overtime.
Pritchard received the pass and made his move along the sideline, dribbling through Washington State defenders, but his three-point attempt at the buzzer missed.
Oregon’s 76-78 loss to WSU (12-17, 4-13) Thursday night in Pullman, dropped the Ducks (19-11, 9-8) to seventh in the Pac-12 and eliminated almost all chance of earning an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament.
Elijah Brown led the Ducks with 18 points and Troy Brown Jr. followed with 17. Pritchard scored 16, while McIntosh added seven points, seven rebounds and four assists. Kenny Wooten’s three blocks moved him to fourth on Oregon’s single-season block list. His 80 total blocks this season, moved him ahead of Chris Boucher’s 79 from last season.
Starting in the first half, the Ducks were slow to find their groove. It wasn’t until seven minutes in that a Pritchard three-point play sparked some energy.
An Elijah Brown and-one dunk at the 11 minute and 13-second mark, capped a 14-0 Oregon and put the Ducks ahead by nine.
But the momentum didn’t last.
With four minutes remaining in the half, four Ducks had earned two fouls each. Going 7-7 on free throws, the Cougars played through a 6-0 run and took a 37-35 lead at the half.
With Paul White and Wooten each with four fouls, Oregon went down by as much as 10 to the Cougars with less than ten minutes remaining in the game. But in the closing minutes of the second half, Pritchard and Brown both made three-pointers to get Oregon within one.
Even through a 13-2 run, the Ducks could not find the extra power needed to get ahead of the Cougars and ended the game down two.
Flynn led both teams with 28 points and eight rebounds.
For their final Pac-12 game of the season, the Ducks will play the Washington Huskies for the No. 6 spot in the Pac-12 Tournament on Saturday at 1:30 p.m. in Seattle.
Follow Maggie Vanoni on Twitter @maggie_vanoni