STANFORD, Calif. (AP) — Oregon coach Dana Altman prefers his players not think about the postseason just yet.
E.J. Singler knows it's too late for that.
With a first-round bye in the Pac-12 tournament still up for grabs, Singler and his teammates aren't just talking about the postseason. They're embracing it and using it as motivation.
"Oh yeah we're talking about it," Singler said after scoring 10 consecutive points in the final six minutes, including a go-ahead 3-pointer, in Oregon's 68-64 win over Stanford on Sunday night. "We have some goals we want to accomplish and that's getting to the top of the Pac-12. We knew we needed this game to do that."
Oregon (19-8, 10-5), which was coming off an 86-83 loss to California on Thursday, is right in the thick of things in the Pac-12.
The Ducks moved into a fourth-place tie with Arizona with three regular-season games remaining, one-half game behind third-place Colorado. That's critical because the top four teams in the standings receive first-round byes in the Pac-12 tournament.
"I just think those things take care of themselves if you go win your games," Altman said. "If you're looking at other people's records and what-ifs then you're not focused on playing. Our energy and our focus wasn't good that first half."
Singler finished with 20 points, five rebounds and three assists while Olu Ashaolu added 14 points off the bench for the Ducks, who have won two straight at Maples Pavilion following a 24-game losing streak that dated to 1986.
Oregon trailed by as much as nine and didn't take its first lead until less than 9 minutes remained.
Stanford responded with a 9-2 run and led 60-56 before Singler keyed the Ducks' comeback two days after his desperation heave at the buzzer fell short in the California loss.
Singler banked in a shot high off the glass, made a 3-pointer, scored on a lean-in layup through traffic and then made another 3 to put Oregon ahead 66-64.
"I can remember E.J. when he was a freshman and a sophomore," said Cardinal coach Johnny Dawkins, who tried unsuccessfully to recruit Singler to Stanford two years ago. "He's a better player than he was then. He's terrific. He had a big impact on tonight's game."
Stanford had multiple chances to tie but missed three shots and committed a pair of costly turnovers. Josh Owens had one of the turnovers while Chasson Randle missed two shots, including a layup attempt with 4.8 seconds left.
Devoe Joseph rebounded Randle's miss and was fouled. He sank both free throws to push the margin to four, and finished with 12 points.
Aaron Bright tried a desperation 3-pointer at the buzzer for Stanford but missed. The Cardinal fell to 13-3 at home.
Owens finished with 20 points and Dwight Powell scored 11 for Stanford (18-9, 8-7). The Cardinal went scoreless over the final 3:45 after taking a 64-61 lead on Owens' dunk.
"We didn't have a good shooting night and that's tough in a game like this," Dawkins said. "Shots were not easy to come by for either team."
The Ducks, who beat Stanford 78-67 on Jan. 5 in Eugene, completed the sweep of their conference rivals despite a sloppy first half when they missed their first five shots and fell behind 16-7.
Stanford still led by seven with 1:30 left in the first half before Oregon cut the gap to 31-28 following Ashaolu's dunk and Singler's 10-foot turnaround jumper.
Ashaolu, who went into the game averaging 8.2 points, later scored on a reverse dunk after driving the baseline early in the second half to keep the Ducks within three and added a pair of critical three-point plays. The second gave Oregon a 52-51 lead, its first of the game.
Powell had five points as part of a 9-2 run that gave the Cardinal a 60-54 lead with 6:20 left before Singler helped rally the Ducks again — this time for good.
While Oregon improved its outlook for the stretch run, Stanford dropped two games out of fourth place and needs to sweep its final three games to have a shot at a first-round bye.
San Francisco 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh, who coached four seasons at Stanford before jumping to the NFL, was among those in attendance.