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Ducks advance with win over Oklahoma State

Damyean Dotson scored 17 points to lead four Oregon players in double figures, while Arsalan Kazemi donated 11 points to go along with a game-high 17 rebounds as Oregon eased past Oklahoma State, 68-55, in second round action of the NCAA Tournament Midwest Region.

Dominic Artis had 13 points and Carlos Emory added 12 points and nine boards for the 12th-seeded Ducks (27-8), who advance to the third round to face fourth-seeded Saint Louis on Saturday.

Despite winning the Pac-12 Conference Tournament title, Oregon was dealt with a surprisingly low seed. The Ducks, appearing in their 11th NCAA Tournament appearance after missing out the last four seasons, made the most of the opportunity, though.

"We went in the game, we wanted to be aggressive on the boards, we wanted to be aggressive defensively and we wanted to be aggressive offensively," Oregon coach Dana Altman said. "And I thought our guys did a great job of that."

Oklahoma State's Marcus Smart, the 2012 Big 12 Player and Freshman of the Year, scored 14 points on 5-of-13 shooting and grabbed nine rebounds, but was held in check throughout the contest. Markel Brown scored 16 points and Le'Byran Nash had 10 for the fifth-seeded Cowboys (24-9), who had missed the NCAA Tournament the previous two seasons.

"Really focused on team defense, keeping him off the glass, not letting him get easy buckets," Artis said of defending Smart. "Trying to keep him out of the lane, went over the top on all picks, just made him fade, and tried to keep him uncomfortable from what he likes to do."

The Cowboys trailed by 11 points at the half, but Nash hit a triple just three minutes into the second period to cut the deficit to 41-31. Oregon answered with a 13-7 swing, however, to distance itself and build a 16-point margin.

Artis had nine points during the run, netting the first four and final five to make it 54-38 with 11 minutes to play.

A basket by OSU's Michael Cobbins closed the gap to 56-45 with 8:05 remaining, but the Cowboys simply had nothing left in the tank and never got within single digits for the remainder of the contest.

"Oh, I think they would admit to that," Oklahoma State coach Travis Ford said of Oregon being underrated as a 12 seed. "I think they (the selection committee) watch TV and every single person you run into has said the same thing. I think Joe Lunardi said it, he's never, ever in all his years made the mistake -- he had them as an 8 and they're a 12. He said he's never been off that much. I think they would admit to that."

Oregon opened up the contest by taking a 19-12 lead after Kazemi's put-back slam with 8 1/2 minutes left in the first half. At one point, the Cowboys failed to score for nearly six minutes.

The first half in general got off to a slow start, as both teams combined for 10 turnovers before the midway point of the action.

The Ducks expanded their lead to 10 points with just under five minutes to play before taking a 37-26 advantage into the break.

Oklahoma State shot 45.8 percent (11-of-24) in the first half, though the Ducks outscored the Cowboys bench by an 11-4 margin and held a 9-2 advantage on second chance points.

Game Notes

Oregon is 2-0 all-time in the series versus Oklahoma State. The only previous meeting occurred on Dec. 28, 1987 ... The Ducks are 13-9 all-time the NCAA Tournament ... Kazemi's 17 boards set a new Oregon NCAA Tournament record ... Oklahoma State is 6-7 all-time in second round games since the field expanded to 64 teams in 1985 ... It was Oregon's first appearance in the NCAA Tournament since 2008, though the Ducks' last victory in the came in the 2007 Sweet Sixteen versus UNLV ... Oregon won the rebounding battle, 44-32.