Ducks beat Cardinal, clinch Pac-12 tourney bye
STANFORD, Calif. — Stanford coach Johnny Dawkins pointed to Oregon junior forward Elgin Cook as the primary reason the Ducks came out ahead in an important Pac-12 Conference game Sunday.
Cook scored 21 points, the third time he's scored as many, and the Ducks beat the Cardinal 73-70 to clinch the third seed and a first-round bye in the upcoming Pac-12 Conference tournament.
Dwayne Benjamin, who had 15 points, made one of two free throws with 14 seconds remaining to give Oregon (22-8, 12-5 Pac-12) the lead and Joseph Young, who also scored 21 points, sank a pair of free throws with three seconds left after a missed Stanford shot.
Cook, who entered the game with a 12.7 scoring average, helped the Ducks win their fourth straight and eight of nine overall.
"He really stepped up for them," Dawkins said. "That's the best I've ever seen him play. He was hitting his perimeter shots and creating tough match-ups for us."
Chasson Randle scored 17 points to lead the Cardinal (18-10, 9-7), who fell into a fourth-place tie with UCLA, which holds the tie-breaker over Stanford. Stefan Nastic added 16 points, Marcus Allen 14 and Anthony Brown 11.
Brown gave Stanford a 60-59 edge on a driving layup with just under seven minutes remaining in the contest. He extended the lead a minute later with a short jumper.
Oregon kept coming, though, and tied the game on Benjamin's 3-pointer from the corner with 3:26 left. The Ducks took the lead moments later when Bell blocked a shot at one end of the court and slammed the ball through the net on the other end.
The game was tied at 70 heading into the final minute. The teams traded turnovers, with Benjamin stealing the ball and getting fouled with 14 seconds left to play.
"We got some stops there where we needed them," Ducks coach Dana Altman said. "Then Dwayne came up with a big steal. It was imperative that he get one of those free throws down. We'd loved to have had both, but we had to have one to get a lead."
Randle was looking to create something in the paint before trying to get the ball back out, where Benjamin stepped in and grabbed it.
"I thought he was going to drive and make something happen," Altman said. "He was successful doing it. I thought our guys did a pretty good job of fighting him all night."
Stanford missed its last seven shots of the first half, shot 4 of 8 from the foul line and committed a pair of turnovers during that eight-minute span.
The Ducks were 6 of 11 from the field over the same stretch.
The Cardinal were ahead 29-28 after a Stefan Nastic free throw with 3:45 to play in the first half.
Oregon outscored Stanford 8-1 the rest of the way to take a 36-30 halftime advantage.
Oregon: The Ducks have already won 20 games for a fifth consecutive season, all under coach Dana Altman, a program first. They've also won a school-record 119 games the past five years. The Ducks added the record over a four-year span (98) and need three wins to overcome last year's team (76) over a three-year period.
Stanford: Rosco Allen, who missed the past four games with a back injury, was cleared to practice on Friday and was able to play a few minutes on Sunday after testing himself during the shootaround. "It's good to have him," Stanford coach Johnny Dawkins said. "He adds depth. We're working him back in."
Oregon completes the regular season at Oregon State on Wednesday night.
Stanford has games remaining at Arizona State on Thursday night and at Arizona on Saturday.