Final - OT
  for this game

Oregon holds off Washington State in overtime

Jan 28, 2007 - 6:50 AM PULLMAN, Washington (Ticker) -- Maarty Leunen was half a second from a scoreless night, but that was enough time to rescue Oregon.

Leunen hit two free throws with five-tenths of a second left in regulation and the seventh-ranked Ducks raced out to a lead in overtime before holding on for a 77-74 Pac-10 Conference victory over Washington State.

Aaron Brooks returned from a one-game suspension to score 31 points and help Oregon (19-2, 7-2 Pac-10) avert a sweep in the state of Washington.

It was the first home loss this season for Washington State, which has dropped four in a row here to the Ducks by a combined 13 points.

"I told our team it would come down to a last-second shot," Oregon coach Ernie Kent said. "It always does here. That's our destiny."

Derrick Low was magnificent in defeat for Washington State (17-4, 6-3), scoring a career-high 37 points and tying a school record with nine 3-pointers.

After Oregon scored the first 10 points of overtime for a 74-64 lead, Low led an improbable rally. The 6-1 junior guard scored nine points - including two shots from the arc - in 61 seconds to cut the deficit to 77-74 with 18 seconds to play.

Oregon went for the home run pass on the inbounds play, but Low ran down Leunen from behind and stripped the ball. Low raced upcourt and fed Kyle Weaver for a tying 3-point attempt from the corner.

The shot was off, but Low corralled the rebound and, seemingly unaware of the time left, turned and hurriedly tossed up an airball with five seconds left.

The Cougars managed to force a jump ball on the inbounds but Low, who finished 9-of-16 from the arc, couldn't bury a wide-open 3-pointer from the left wing.

"We played with a lot of heart and battled," Washington State coach Tony Bennett said. "What I like about our guys is they never get too up or too down. That will be a challenge for us after this one."

Chris Matthews provided a boost off the bench with 13 points for the Cougars, including eight points in a five-minute span as washington State built a 60-51 with four minutes left.

But Oregon charged back as Bryce Taylor converted a three-point play and Brooks and Tajuan Porter connected from the arc to slice the lead to 64-62, setting up the tying foul shots by Leunen, who was 0-of-7 from the floor and 0-of-1 at the line until that point.

"Chris Matthews did a good job," Bennett said. "We went with him because we needed him. I think both teams were very tired in overtime."

Porter scored 17 points for the Ducks, who were meeting the Cougars with both teams ranked for the first time in their history.

"That was the first loss for Washington State at home," Kent said. "That's a credit to our guys."