EUGENE, Ore. – TSU’s bid for its second consecutive win over No. 8 Oregon fell short in the final minutes as the Ducks outscored the Tigers 14-9 over the final 4:23 for an 84-78 win Saturday at Matthew Knight Arena.
TSU controlled much of the first half as they led by as much as 13 after John Jones’ layup with 7:41 remaining. Over the next two minutes, Oregon responded with an 11-0 run to draw within 26-24 but TSU would hold on until two free throws by the Ducks’ Chris Duarte knotted the contest at 28-all. Oregon would lead by as much as five (33-28) on two occasions over the final 2:06 before ending the half ahead 36-33 as Tyrik Armstrong scored the final points for TSU in the half.
A three-pointer by Jones broke a 38-all tie early in the second half as TSU would lead by as much as six (45-39) right before the media timeout. The lead would hold over the next three minutes but Oregon moved ahead 49-48 which sparked an 8-0 run and a 55-48 score with 11:18 remaining. However, TSU refused to back down as Chris Baldwin scored seven of the team’s 10 points to spark a 10-1 run and a 60-58 lead at the 7:50 mark.
The lead would seesaw between both teams over the next few minutes as TSU led 67-66 after Armstrong’s jumper with 5:03 left. Oregon’s Payton Pritchard was fouled on the ensuing possession and hit two free throws to move the Ducks ahead 68-67 but Baldwin responded with a pair of free throws to give TSU a 69-68 lead as the clock read 4:23. Pritchard moved Oregon back on top 70-69 with a layup on the next possession and TSU missed its next two shot attempts. Oregon scored off an offensive rebound to lead 72-69 and after a TSU turnover, the Ducks grabbed an offensive rebound and Pritchard converted two more free throws for a 74-69 lead. Oregon’s lead grew to as much as seven on two occasions as the closest TSU would get was five points with five seconds left.
Baldwin scored a career-high 27 points on 9-of-12 shooting while grabbing five rebounds. Armstrong followed with 21 points and six assists while Jones chipped in with 15.
TSU is back in action next Saturday at Arizona State.