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.
The TSU Tigers is back in action next Saturday at Arizona State.