EUGENE, Ore. – The University of Oregon men's basketball team nearly used its famous "Mac" Court magic in the second half of Saturday's game.
However, Arizona State withstood the roars of 7,165 fans to defeat the Ducks, 60 to 55, on the final men's basketball game at Eugene's McArthur Court Saturday night.
Neither team led by more than eight points and the contest featured eight ties and eight lead changes. Oregon drops to 7-7 on the season and 0-2 in the Pac-10.
The opening eight minutes featured a pair of mini runs by both teams. Arizona State opened up an early 11-3 lead before Oregon evened the score at 15 apiece with a 12-4 spurt of its own. The Ducks made a pair of three-pointers, one by E.J. Singler and another by Teondre Williams during the sport and Tyrone Nared capped the tying run with a pair of free throws.
ASU pulled ahead once again, but the contest remained close the rest of the opening stanza, with the Sun Devils holding a 28-24 lead at halftime. After being held to a season-low four points in the Pac-10 opener against Arizona, Singler responded with a game-high 10 points and six rebounds in the first half.
Williams brought the Ducks within a point when he opened the second half with a three-pointer. A few minutes later, Malcolm Armstead forced a turnover and found Jay-R Strowbridge breaking down court for the tying bucket. After another stop, Armstead drove to the hoop and put the Ducks up, 32-30, at the three minute mark. It was Oregon’s first lead since 3-2 with 16:35 remaining in the first half.
After an ASU bucket tied the game on the following possession, UO reeled off five consecutive points on a Jeremy Jacob layup and a Singler three-point play to go up by five.
The Sun Devils rallied from the deficit and retook the lead, 43-42, with under 12 minutes to play. With Arizona State leading, 46-42, Oregon had a five-point possession with Singler hitting a pair of technical free throws and Garrett Sim draining a three-pointer from the corner to put the Ducks back in front, 47-46. Sim put UO in front once again with two makes at the charity stripe, making it a 49-48 contest with 8:14 remaining.
ASU regained the lead shortly after and held a 56-51 advantage before Williams made it a one-score game on a fast break layup with 3:29 to go. With 1:47 left, Joevan Catron drilled two free throws and cut the Sun Devils’ lead to 56-55.
UO got a stop on the following possession, but a go-ahead three-point attempt was off the mark and Carrick Felix put the Sun Devils up three with a layup. The Ducks came up empty on the next possession and Felix made two free throws to cap the scoring.
ASU made 44.9 percent of its shots and held UO to 32.1 percent shooting from the floor. The Ducks out-rebounded the Sun Devils, 36-33. Turnovers were nearly even with Arizona State committing 15 miscues and Oregon turning it over 14 times.
Singler's 19 points tied ASU’s Felix for the game high. Catron also scored in double figures with 11 points. Singler led all players with nine rebounds, narrowly missing a double-double. Armstead tied a game-high with four assists.
The Ducks head north for their first road games in conference play next week. Oregon takes on Washington in Seattle Jan. 6. Opening tipoff is at 5:30 p.m.
- Oregon used its sixth different starting lineup combination of the season (G-Malcolm Armstead, G-Johnathan Loyd, G-Jay-R Strowbridge, F-E.J. Singler and F-Joevan Catron).
- After ASU went on a 9-0 run to take an 11-3 lead with 14:35 in the first half, the Ducks answered with a 12-4 run to tie it at 15 points apiece with 10:21 (Joevan Catron 4 pts, E.J. Singler 3 pts, Teondre Williams 3 pts, Tyrone Nared 2 pts).
- E.J. Singler matched a career-best with 19 points to go with a team-high nine rebounds. It was the third time this season Singler has led the Ducks in scoring this season. It also marked the 11th time he has reached double figures in scoring (17th time of career).
- Joevan Catron (11 points) reached double figures in scoring for the 12th time in 14 games this season. It was the 37th time in his career he has scored 10 or more points.
- Malcolm Armstead registered a new career high with five steals against ASU. It was the first time a Duck had five steals in a game since Maarty Leunen did it in a Nov. 12, 2006, game against Portland State.