PULLMAN — Defense was the key from start to finish for Oregon forcing 17 turnovers and limiting Washington State’s top scorer.
Paul White scored 21 points and grabbed six rebounds and Oregon defeated Washington State 72-61 on Wednesday night.
Payton Pritchard added 15 points and seven assists for the Ducks (18-12, 9-8 Pac-12). Victor Bailey Jr. had 14 points shooting 4 of 5 from three-point range.
Robert Franks scored 16 points with seven rebounds on 3-of-13 shooting for Washington State (11-19, 4-13). Marvin Cannon added 12 points and seven rebounds.
“Defensively (controlling) Franks was the big key. He is such a talented player and we didn’t want to give him too many looks,” Oregon coach Dana Altman said. “They did beat us on the boards (35-29). I was a little disappointed. I thought we leaked out and gave them too many second shots. For the most part I thought it was a pretty good effort.”
Oregon took control of the game with an 11-2 run late in the first half. A three-pointer from Louis King and back-to-back threes from Bailey sparked the run that gave the Ducks a 37-26 lead. Pritchard followed with a layup at the buzzer for Oregon, extending the lead to 11 at the break.
In the first five minutes of the second half, WSU committed five turnovers and went scoreless for four minutes.
Bailey hit back-to-back threes for Oregon within 51 seconds for a 54-39 lead midway through the second half.
WSU cut the lead to 13 with four minutes remaining when White nailed a dagger from three-point range with 3:42 remaining to seal the game.
WSU coach Ernie Kent attributed the loss to ball security, missed opportunities and selfish play on the offensive end.
“As a team we had too many turnovers and too many miscues on a night where I didn’t think we looked very well playing together,” Kent said. “I thought we were a little bit selfish on the floor and when you do that you just don’t look good and you can’t take care of the basketball when you are not sharing the ball.”