LAS VEGAS — The Oregon men's basketball team's Pac-12 Tournament run ended Friday in the semifinal round, as the Ducks' third game in three days contributed to tired legs that led to shooting woes in a 74-54 loss to Southern California in T-Mobile Arena.
The sixth-seeded Ducks (22-12) were game from the outset, and tied the score 17-17 on a three-pointer by Troy Brown Jr. midway through the first half. But Oregon then endured a 2-of-24 streak capped by 15 straight misses, a span of 11:32 without a field goal during which the second-seeded Trojans (26-7) took control.
How It Happened: Oregon opened by making 7-of-14 field goals, the last Brown's three to tie the game with 11:38 left in the first half. But the Ducks made just 2-of-17 attempts the rest of the half, then missed their first seven shots of the second half as USC used a 36-8 run to go up 53-25.
Oregon dug deep and rallied back within 14 on a three-point play by MiKyle McIntosh that made it 62-48 with 6:30 left. But the Trojans regained momentum and got the lead back to 20 at the final buzzer, advancing to face top-seeded Arizona in the tournament final Saturday night.
Who Stood Out: McIntosh scored 21 points on 9-of-17 to lead the Ducks, after scoring 18 both Wednesday and Thursday. Fellow graduate transfer Elijah Brown followed his seven three-pointers Thursday against Utah by going 4-of-9 against USC, on the way to 16 points. But the Ducks' other three starters, Troy Brown, Payton Pritchard and Paul White, combined to go just 5-of-27, and Oregon finished the game 20-of-60 as a team.
That 33 percent shooting contrasted with a scorching 26-of-52 performance by the Trojans. Jonah Mathews made 7-of-9 three-point attempts for a game-high 27 points to lead USC.
What It Means: The Ducks played in the semifinal for the fourth year in a row, but fell short of what would have been their fifth finals appearance in six years.
Up Next: Oregon had been holding out hope for an NCAA Tournament bid thanks to a length Pac-12 Tournament stay, but the Ducks now seem more likely to hear their name called when the NIT field is announced Sunday (5:30 p.m., ESPNU).
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