Oregon outscores Sun Devils 38-16 in the paint for a big win in the desert
TEMPE — Payton Pritchard scored 18 points and hit two free throws with 13.8 seconds left, helping Oregon hold off No. 11 Arizona State 76-72 on Thursday night.
Oregon (12-5, 2-2 Pac-12) used a late spurt to go up eight points and hit four free throws in the final 32 seconds to earn its biggest win of the season.
The Ducks dominated the paint, outscoring Arizona State 38-16 inside and scoring 15 second-chance points on 15 offensive rebounds. Elijah Brown had 18 points and hit two free throws with 32 seconds left for Oregon.
Arizona State (13-3, 1-3) went through a few rough patches offensively in its first home game since Dec. 22. One came with about 5 minutes left in the second half when the Ducks pushed their lead to 68-60.
The senior trio of Tra Holder, Shannon Evans II and Kodi Justice tried to bring the Sun Devils back in front of a rowdy Wells Fargo Arena crowd that included former Sun Devils star James Harden and Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey in the front row.
Evans hit a corner 3 with 17.5 seconds left to pull Arizona State within 74-72, but Arizona State got no closer to lose for the first time in nine home games this season.
Justice had 21 points, Evans 19 and Holder finished with 14.
Oregon was coming off a 76-65 loss to rival Oregon State after allowing the Beavers to shoot 53 percent and go on a 12-1 second-half run.
Arizona State, a team that can go on runs in a flash, had a similar stretch against the Ducks in the first half. Forcing tough shots and turnovers, the Sun Devils got their up-tempo game rolling after a shaky start, going on an 11-0 run to go up 31-18.
The Ducks fought their way back behind Brown, closing the first half on a 14-2 run and pulling even at 41-all on his buzzer-beating 3-pointer.
Pritchard kept hitting long-range shots and the Ducks got a lift from forward Roman Sorkin in the second half. Arizona State kept pace behind Holder, Justice and Evans.
Oregon used a short spurt to build the lead to 68-60 with 4 minutes left
Arizona State tried to fight back out of a timeout, with Justice hitting a 3-pointer and Evans finding De'Quon Lake on an alley-oop pass that brought the crowd to its feet.
But the Ducks answered with two quick baskets, including a layup when the Sun Devils didn't get back on defense to build the lead back to seven.
Oregon picked up a huge road win in a game that can get the Ducks headed back in the right direction.
Arizona State dominated teams during the nonconference schedule, but is finding the road much tougher in the Pac-12.
Oregon faces No. 17 Arizona on Saturday, the Ducks' first back-to-back road games against ranked opponents since 2006-07.
Arizona State hosts Oregon State on Saturday.