CORVALLIS — Damyean Dotson didn't know what to think of the Civil War on Sunday night. It was just any other game to him.
But the Oregon freshman guard didn't play like it, scoring a season-high 21 points Sunday night to lead the Ducks to a 79-66 win against rival Oregon State in the Pac-12 Conference opener for both teams.
E.J. Singler added 15 points and nine rebounds for the Ducks (12-2).
Ahmad Starks had 22 points, and Roberto Nelson 18 points for Oregon State (10-4).
The two programs have met 338 times in the Civil War, one of the most-contested series in college basketball.
"Just staying under control and not letting the misses and other things get to me," Dotson said of what got his individual game going. "Defense really helped me. When I get up on defense it just encourages me to go harder. It's just what happened, defense."
Dotson, who also had six rebounds, scored seven points in Oregon's 15-2 run to open the second half, helping the Ducks turn the tide and take a 43-36 lead.
Oregon State came right back, with Devon Collier scoring seven consecutive points to tie the game.
The Beavers took a 47-46 lead on Starks' two free throws with 11:02 remaining.
But Oregon took the momentum for good, scoring nine straight points over 31/2; minutes. Arsalan Kazemi's basket off an offensive rebound gave the Ducks a 55-47 lead with 7:34 remaining.
Oregon State got no closer than five after that.
The Beavers got within 62-57 before Oregon scored six straight, with Kazemi's transition dunk making it 68-57.
A spirited halftime locker room was credited for turning the game around for the Ducks.
Singler, a former South Medford standout, said the team wasn't happy with the way it played in the first half.
"We all got on each other, saying we've got to pick it up, we're better than this. And we did," the senior forward said. "It was just us taking care of the ball, making plays for others. We thought we could drive against them and get fouls."
The Ducks were 16 of 18 at the free-throw line in the second half and 18 of 23 for the game. Oregon State was 10 of 16 overall.
Oregon won the rebounding battle as well, 42-31. Kazemi added eight boards to go with eight points.
The Ducks shot 16 of 30 in the second half to finish 29 of 59 for the game. The Beavers were 12 of 31 in the second half and 25 of 60 for the game.
"I don't think it was anything other than we could not make plays," Oregon State head coach Craig Robinson said of his team in the second 20-minute period. "I thought we had good looks and they just weren't falling."
Nelson's 3-pointer capped an 8-0 run that gave Oregon State an early 12-6 lead.
The Beavers held the lead until Oregon scored six straight points late in the half, as Dotson's outside basket with 2:49 left in the half tied the game at 28.
Oregon State took the lead back on the next possession on Joe Burton's conventional three-point play.
Starks scored the final five points of the half to give the Beavers a 34-28 lead.