PULLMAN, Wash. — Malachi Flynn scored 28 points with eight rebounds and five assists, and Robert Franks added 19 points and five rebounds as Washington State held on in the final seconds to defeat Oregon, 78-76, on Thursday night.
The Cougars took the lead just before halftime on a Franks 3-pointer for a 37-35 advantage. Leading for most of the second half, it looked like a typical late game showing for the Cougars after Oregon went on a 13-2 run for their first lead of the second half, 67-66, with 3:32 remaining.
Flynn's 28 points put him two shy of his career high of 30 against Colorado at home. Flynn came up clutch with big buckets throughout the second half including an 8-0 run by himself with 10:22 remaining. Viont'e Daniels added 13 points for the Cougars (12-17, 4-13 Pac-12), including a 3 from the corner with 54 seconds left in the game to extend the Cougar lead 77-72.
"I think we are really confident right now, we're playing together, we trust each other, we trust the coaches," said Flynn, "so I think everyone's just on the same page right now and I think that is the biggest thing."
Elijah Brown contributed 18 points for the Ducks (19-11, 9-8 Pac-12), and Troy Brown Jr. added 17 points and six rebounds.
Payton Pritchard had 16 for Oregon, but he missed a big free throw to tie the game in the final 10 seconds and a potential game winning 3 at the buzzer.
"You could really see that they (Oregon) had started to gel and had tremendous momentum coming in here," said Washington State coach Ernie Kent, adding that his team's destiny lies in the Pac-12 Tournament. "We still have work to do. Part of that work is proving to ourselves that we can play with the teams in the upper echelon."
Oregon: The loss puts the Ducks in a bad position heading into Pac-12 Tournament play — effectively knocking them lower in tournament seeding and hurting their chances of making the NCAA Tournament.
Washington State: The Cougars grab their fourth Pac-12 win of the season. A Cougar win is rare after starting the season 6-0. The victory doesn't affect their seeding in the Pac-12 tournament, but it keeps WSU from finishing last in the conference. The Cougars have not won two games in a row since being 6-0.
Oregon: The Ducks travel to play Washington on Saturday.
Washington State: The Cougars will host Oregon State on Saturday.