March 6, 2010
EUGENE, Ore. - Washington State sophomore Klay Thompson became the third-fastest player to reach 1,000 career points in school history, but Thompson and the Cougars could not spoil the going away party at McArthur Court. Oregon (15-15, 7-11) used double-figure scoring from four players to beat WSU 74-66 in the final regular season Pacific-10 Conference game scheduled to be played at the 83-year old arena.
The Ducks used a 21-9 run at the beginning of the second half to gain a 14-point advantage, and withstood a WSU (16-14, 6-12) run in the final five minutes to preserve the victory. Oregon freshman E.J. Singler scored 11 of his 15 points during the decisive run. Singler's 15 points matched a career-high as he hit multiple 3-pointers for the first time.
The Ducks' scoring run included a 5:42 stretch that the Cougars were held without a field goal. WSU was 0-of-5 from the field during the span, missing four times from three-point range. The Cougars finished the game 8-of-29 from beyond the arc, as more than half of their 56 field goal attempts were from long range.
"We had some good looks at the basket," WSU Head Coach Ken Bone said, "but it's the same old same old. We had some good shooters have good looks at the basket, and we didn't make them."
Thompson led the Cougars with 22 points, his first 20-point performance since Feb. 13 at California. The Ladera Ranch, Calif. native made four 3-pointers in back-to-back games for the first time this season. His final triple brought the Cougars within seven with 1:51 to play, and pushed him over the 1,000-point plateau in just his 63rd career game.
The achievement was obviously not on Thompson's mind after the Cougars fell to 2-7 in the second half of the conference season.
"A thousand what?" Thompson asked after the game when congratulated on his accomplishment. He was more concerned with the missed opportunities.
"There were four or five open, really open, shots that are just frustrating not to hit; but you can't lose your confidence, because it's the worst thing anybody can do" Thompson said, reiterating his statement following the game at Oregon State.
After falling behind 4-0, a Marcus Capers put-back dunk started the scoring for the Cougars four and a half minutes into the game. WSU battled back to take the lead twice in the first half, the last time with 9:19 to play before halftime.
Oregon reclaimed the lead at 14-13 with 9:02 to play on a pair of Jeremy Jacob free throws, and never relinquished it.
LeKendric Longmire led Oregon with 17 points and 10 rebounds as he tallied his first career double-double.
DeAngelo Casto and Nikola Koprivica joined Thompson as double-figure scorers. Casto scored 17 points as he reached double digits for the seventh time in the last eight games. The sophomore also grabbed 10 rebounds to lead the Cougars and register his seventh double-double of the season. Koprivica scored 10 points and grabbed seven rebounds. Koprivica now has 266 points this season, surpassing his 257 points from his first three seasons combined.
With the loss, WSU finishes 6-12 in the conference. The Cougars' six wins are the most by a last-place team in conference history.
By virtue of a tiebreaker between Stanford and Oregon, and USC not participating in the Pac-10 Tournament as part of self-imposed sanctions, the Cougars and Ducks will meet again Wednesday at 8 p.m. in the opening-round game of the conference tournament at Staples Center in Los Angeles. The game will be televised on FSN, and the winner will take on California Thursday, at 2:30 p.m.
"We just have to take it one game at a time," Thompson said. "There are four games -that's our goal -four games to win, but you can't get ahead of yourself. We're just focused on Oregon right now."