Carlos Emory scored a career high 21 points off the bench as Oregon took down Oregon State 85-75 on senior night at Matthew Knight Arena Thursday. The Ducks came back from a halftime deficit for the sixth time this season to earn their 23rd victory.
“That’s not what we want to do,” E.J. Singler said. “We want to be up at halftime, but I think our senior leadership in the second half is really, really good … but we got to switch that, we have to start earlier.”
The win moved the Ducks into sole possession of first place in the Pac-12 and sent seniors Singler, Emory, Tony Woods and Arsalan Kazemi out on top. The latter three each finished in double-figures, while Singler finished with nine.
The Ducks jumped out to an early lead in the first half but looked to lose control of the game when Damyean Dotson was injured midway through. The Beavers would go on a run and lead 41-34 at the half, behind a phenomenal performance from Oregon State’s Roberto Nelson, who had 22 points at the intermission.
Dotson would come out for warmups prior to the second-half start but didn’t attempt a shot, instead jogging around and trying to loosen up; however, the freshman shooting guard didn’t play in the rest of the game. Oregon head coach Dana Altman said the team will use the next few days — including an important off day this weekend — to let him recover.
“He just took a really hard fall,” Altman said. “He worked hard to try and get it loosened up to go, but he just couldn’t move … We’re fortunate we’ve got a week; I don’t think he’d play Saturday.”
Things would get worse for the Ducks before they got any better during second-half play. With Oregon State leading by nine, Eric Moreland threw down a monster dunk that would have put them up double figures — but, he was called for a charge on the play as well as a technical foul for standing over Tony Woods after the dunk.
E.J. Singler hit both of the technical shots, but the Beavers still led by a couple possessions until Carlos Emory’s jump shot with 12:51 remaining put the Ducks within two. A wide-open three from Dominic Artis — his only shot attempt of the second half — gave Oregon its first lead in almost 15 minutes. From then on, the Duck seniors simply took over, scoring the next 25 points.
Among that sequence was a series of three straight dunks, all set up by feeds from Singler.
“I just saw Tony getting in good positions down low,” Singler said. “He did a good job of staying with his guy, and after that first one, I saw the look in his face, and I was like, ‘Hey, we’ve got to go back to that,’ and he kept on doing it.”
The Ducks weren’t shutting the Beavers down by any means, but 12 second-half opposition turnovers allowed the home team to open up a ten-point lead with just under 12:00 left. The Ducks would maintain that cushion for the rest of the game. Oregon also figured out how to defend Nelson in the second half, holding him to just nine points after his explosive first half.
“I thought our awareness was better on him,” Altman said.
Oregon has the weekend off and will play Colorado and Utah on the road next week to close out the regular season.