LAS VEGAS (AP) — Payton Pritchard scored 20 points and led Oregon’s dominating defense, helping the Ducks beat Washington 68-48 on Saturday night to become the second team to win four games in four days at the Pac-12 Tournament.
The sixth-seeded Ducks (23-12) rode their defense into the title game and continued their shutdown run right into the record books.
Showing no signs of fatigue after three games in three days, Oregon clamped down on the Huskies in the second half turning a close game into a 16-point lead. Pritchard led the charge up top with four steals and Kenny Wooten did his damage on the back line, blocking four shots.
Pritchard also had seven assists and six rebounds. Louis King had 15 points and Paul White added 14.
The Ducks join Colorado in 2012 as the only team to win four games in four days at the Pac-12 tournament by taking home their fifth title.
The top-seeded Huskies (26-8) looked like the tired team, struggling against Oregon’s defensive pressure.
Washington had a long scoring drought in the second half, shot 33 percent and went 5 for 23 from the 3-point arc. The Huskies had no double-figure scorers and could have some anxious moments on Selection Sunday.
The Ducks flew into the title by winning the first three of four they needed to earn an automatic NCAA Tournament berth.
Oregon held Washington State and Utah under 55 points, and blocked 10 shots while rallying to beat Arizona State in overtime in the quarterfinals.
The Huskies had one fewer game after clinching a first-round bye, beating USC and Colorado by five points each.
Oregon and Washington split the regular-season series, each winning on the other’s home court.
The Ducks’ disruptive D caused problems early in the title game. Oregon gave Washington some problems with its full-court pressure and the Huskies had a stretch of one field goal in 11 attempts.
Washington’s defense caused some similar problems for the Ducks before both teams started hitting some shots late in the half. Oregon led 28-26 at halftime.
The Ducks had a 16-0 run early in the second half to go up 46-28, holding the Huskies scoreless for eight minutes. Wooten had consecutive blocked shots during the run – one while he was on the way down.
Huskies leading scorer Jaylen Nowell also headed to the bench after picking up his fourth foul with 14 minutes left. Nowell returned three minutes later, but Washington continued to struggle against Oregon’s defense. The Huskies shot 6 of 27 and 3 of 12 from 3 in the second half.
Oregon’s defensive dominance coincided with coach Dana Altman’s decision to have four 6-foot-9 players in the starting lineup. The Ducks will roll into the NCAA Tournament as one of the bracket’s hottest teams.
Washington ran into a buzz saw in the title game and will have to wait out Selection Sunday to see if its resume stacks up well enough.
Oregon is headed to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since reaching the Final Four in 2017.
Washington must await its fate.
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