Ducks guards Ehab Amin (4) and Victor Bailey Jr. (10) point to the offensive zone after the Tigers went out-of-bounds. Oregon Ducks men’s basketball takes on Texas Southern University at Matthew Knight Arena in Eugene, Ore. on Nov. 26, 2018. (Ben Green/Emerald)

Oregon men’s basketball advances to Pac-12 Tournament quarterfinal with blowout win

Oregon men’s basketball (20-12) dominated the Washington State Cougars (11-21) in the first round of the Pac-12 tournament, 84-51 on Wednesday night in Las Vegas.

Neither team could find the bottom of the basket for the first four minutes, then Oregon flipped the switch.

Washington State broke the scoring drought with a 3-point shot from CJ Elleby, but Oregon responded with an 18-0 run to bust the game open.

Over an 18-minute span, the Cougars committed 11 turnovers and finished the half with 16 turnovers. The Ducks took full advantage of the 16 turnovers by turning them into 21 points to aid their big lead. The Ducks press, which has been very effective during conference, held the Cougars to 22.7 percent from the field and 23.5 from 3-point range adding 11 steals in the first half alone.

The starters, led by Francis Okoro’s six points in the first half, were unimpressive on the offensive side during the first half. Ehab Amin, coming off the bench, gave Oregon a boost on offense with 10 points along with Will Richardson, who scored seven, to contribute with 19 bench points.

The second half was no different as the Ducks continued to throttle the Cougars on both ends of the court.

With the game out of reach, head coach Dana Altman was not afraid to empty his short yet productive bench. The bench contributed with 46 points, led by Amin, who finished the game with a game-high 17 points. Freshman Miles Norris exploited the Cougars post-defense to score 12 of his 14 points in the second half.

Oregon’s press-defense continued to cause problems into the second half. The Ducks held the Cougars to an unimpressive 30.8 field-goal percentage and 21.9 3-point percentage, adding 14 steals to stifle Washington State. The defense helped clinch a 33-point victory, which was the largest margin of victory in Pac-12 tournament history.

The Ducks will ride their five-game winning streak into the second round as they take on the No. 3 Utah Utes.

Follow Gabriel on Twitter @gabe_ornelas

Gabriel is a sports reporter covering women's volleyball, women's soccer, men's basketball, baseball, women's lacrosse and football.

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