Sim scores 20 as Oregon holds off USC
EUGENE — Oregon was slowed by USC's grinding pace, but with the game in the balance, the Ducks' best shooter heated up.
Garrett Sim scored 20 points and Devoe Joseph, held silent for most of the game, scored 12 points in the final eight minutes to lead the Ducks to a 65-62 win over the Trojans on Thursday night.
Olu Ashaolu also had 11 points for Oregon (14-5, 5-2 Pac-12), which has won three straight and is off to its best start since going 18-1 in 2006-07.
"We found a way to win and that's always important," Oregon coach Dana Altman said. "It's hard to play well every night and we didn't offensively play well tonight."
The Ducks have won three straight Pac-12 games for the first time since 2008.
"We're definitely feeling more confident," Sim said.
Maurice Jones scored 22 points for the Trojans (5-14, 0-6), who haven't been winless this deep into conference play since opening 0-12 in 1989. Dewayne Dedmon added a season-high 18 points and seven rebounds for USC.
Jones was 9 for 23 from the floor and missed a game-tying 3-point attempt with 5 seconds left.
"Anyone with a green light like that's very hard to guard," Sim said.
Oregon led 30-28 at halftime and never was able to build more than an eight-point lead in the second half.
"It was hard to get into a rhythm when USC starts to set the pace," Joseph said. "They want us to slow it down."
Joseph, Oregon's leading scorer at 15.5 points per game, took over when the Ducks were ahead 48-43 with 7:54 to play.
The senior guard made a pair of free throws and then a 3-pointer to give the Ducks their largest lead of the game, 53-45.
His jumper with 4:20 remaining put Oregon up 56-51.
The Ducks were up just 56-54 with 2:40 to play following a three-point play by Dedmon. But Joseph answered with a 3-pointer to make it 59-54, and Oregon closed it out by hitting six straight free throws in the final 1:40.
"We've been shooting free throws pretty good," said Altman, whose team was 19 for 24 from the line. "They've been rock solid."
Oregon hurt itself with 19 turnovers that USC was able to convert into 19 points.
But the Ducks outrebounded the Trojans 34-27 and shot 46 percent from the floor to improve to 9-0 this season in games decided by fewer than 10 points.
Washington State 81,Stanford 69
At Pullman, Wash., Faisal Aden scored 33 points and Washington State beat Stanford.
The Cougars (10-8, 2-4) snapped a three-game losing streak and knocked the Cardinal (15-4, 5-2) out of first place in the conference on a night where hazardous weather kept the crowd at an announced 3,119.
Brock Motum added 16 points and Reggie Moore scored 13 for Washington State. The Cougars made 27 of 29 free throws, with Aden making all 13 of his attempts.
Josh Owens scored 19 points to lead Stanford and Chasson Randle added 15.
The game was the Cougars' first in Pullman since a Dec. 18 win over Western Oregon. They played two games designated as "home" games in Spokane — against Pac-12 rivals Oregon State and Oregon — and one in Seattle. It's the only meeting between the schools this season due to the expansion of the conference.
California 69, Washington 66
At Seattle, Allen Crabbe scored 16 points, unheralded walk-on Robert Thurman added a career-high 16 off the bench, and California remained in at least a tie for first place in the Pac-12 with a critical win.
Justin Cobbs added 14 points, including a key 3-pointer from the corner in front of his own bench with 2:28 left that gave California (16-4, 6-1 Pac-12) a 66-58 lead. He later split a pair of free throws with 8.2 seconds left to put the Golden Bears up by three.
After a timeout, Washington's Darnell Gant got an open look at a 3-pointer to tie the game, but missed off the front rim. It capped a miserable night for Gant, who was 0 for 9 from the field, including six misses from behind the arc. Terrence Ross led Washington (11-7, 4-2) with 15 points, including a pair of late 3s.
Arizona 77, Utah 51
At Salt Lake City, Kyle Fogg and Kevin Parrom each had 12 points to overcome the ejection of Solomon Hill and Arizona whipped Utah.
Nick Johnson had 11 points and Josiah Turner had 10 points as the Wildcats (12-6, 3-2 Pac-12) made 12 of 24 from 3-point range and buried the depleted Utes with a second-half flurry.
In the opening minutes of the second half, Cedric Martin took an elbow to the head from Hill and fell under the Arizona basket. Hill was ejected and Utah trailed 35-32 after Alex Mortensen converted the ensuing free throws. Johnson made back-to-back 3-pointers to fuel a 20-2 run over a 4:26 span as Arizona took a 55-34 lead.
Colorado 69, Arizona State 54
At Boulder, Colo., Andre Roberson and Spencer Dinwiddie each scored 12 points and Colorado downed short-handed Arizona State.
Austin Dufault and Askia Booker each added 11 points for Colorado (12-6, 4-2 Pac-12), which won for the 10th time in 11 games at home this season.
The Sun Devils (6-12, 2-4) began the game without their leading scorer, Trent Lockett (13.9 ppg), who was held out after spraining his right ankle in last week's victory over Oregon State. Arizona State finished without head coach Herb Sendek, who was ejected with 4:12 remaining after drawing two technical fouls in a row. Chris Colvin opened in Lockett's place, his first start since late November, and finished with a career-high 15 points. Carrick Felix added 13 points and Jonathan Gilling had 12 for the Sun Devils, who have lost three of their last four.