Pullman, WA – E.J. Singler scored 25 points and hit two clutch free throws in the final seconds of overtime to help No. 23 Oregon escape with 79-77 victory over Washington State on Saturday at Wallis Beasley Performing Arts Coliseum.
Oregon (21-5, 10-3 Pac 12) received 20 points of the bench from Carlos Emory, however he missed a free throw late which could have put the game on ice.
Royce Woolridge recorded a game-high 36 points for Washington State, with his sixth 3-pointer of the night coming after Emory's miss to tie the contest at 87-87 in overtime, however the Cougars (11-15, 2-11) fell short after Dexter Kernich-Drew fouled Singler with four seconds left.
Singler then sank both attempts from the charity stripe to help the Ducks to their third win in a row.
"At the end we've got an opportunity and we made some critical mistakes down the stretch," Washington State coach Ken Bone admitted.
Trailing 38-27 at the break, Oregon rallied to take a four-point lead with 1:58 left in regulation, but left the door open for the Cougars after Johnathan Loyd missed a pair from the stripe with 18 seconds left.
Only shooting 2-for-9 for the night, DaVonte Lacy made his last shot of the game when he buried a triple to knot the score at 71-71 to send the game to an extra session.
Woolridge scored 22 in the first half to pace Washington State, which led by as many as 18 points as Oregon struggled to contain the shooter. Woolridge made 10-of-15 shot attempts for the night, including 6-for-9 from long distance.
"We were dead," Oregon coach Dana Altman said of his team in the first half. "We were just standing around with no energy."
However, Singler powered Oregon back into the contest in the second half.
He scored nine straight points early in the second stanza to pull Oregon within five before adding a pair of second half 3-pointers, with his fourth of the game cutting Washington State's edge to 59-58 with 6:33 to play.
Oregon then took its first lead since the opening moments of the contest when Emory finished a three-point play and Loyd's jumper shortly after extended the Ducks' advantage to 63-59.
Emory shot 7-for-13 from the field ... Oregon converted 53.6 percent of its shots in the second half after shooting 33.3 percent (9-for-27) through the initial 20 minutes ... Washington State's season leading scorer Brock Motum scored 12 points on 3-of-10 from the field ... Oregon's Tony Wood was ejected in the first half after elbowing Motum intentionally in the back of the head.