Ducks use late run to hold off Beavers

CORVALLIS — Oregon doesn't have much experience closing out games with the lead, but it played the part against Oregon State on Saturday.

The Ducks outscored the Beavers 11-2 during a four-minute stretch late in the game, and Jay-R Strowbridge's two free throws with seven seconds left iced Oregon's 63-59 win.

"That's something we haven't done, so I'm really pleased the guys found a way to make some plays," said Oregon coach Dana Altman, who coached for the first time in the rivalry, which at 334 games is the most-contested series in college basketball.

"When you haven't won a lot of games, it takes a while. I think today will help. We've got a lot of things to learn, but the exciting part is we're getting better."

Both teams made big runs — Oregon in the first half and Oregon State in the second — but it was the Ducks who were able to finish it out.

E.J. Singler had 16 points and Strowbridge scored 13 of his 15 points in the second half for Oregon (9-10, 2-5 Pac-10). Garrett Sim added 15 points.

Oregon State (8-10, 3-4) got 15 points from Lathen Wallace and 11 from Roberto Nelson.

It was the second time in three games the Beavers had to come back from a double-digit first-half deficit. Oregon State erased a big hole against UCLA seven days earlier, but ended up with the same result as it did against Oregon.

"We just have to re-examine how we're starting games," said Oregon State coach Craig Robinson, whose team trailed by 17 in the first half. "I think psychologically, we're not a 3-3 team in the Pac-10. I think that's what it is. We can't handle (having) each game harder than the one before."

Strowbridge scored consecutive baskets to give the Ducks a 48-46 lead, their first in more than 12 minutes.

Sim's 3-pointer with 3:36 to play put Oregon ahead 54-50. Strowbridge added a 3-pointer with 2:21 remaining as the Ducks took a seven-point lead.

Jared Cunningham made two foul shots for the Beavers to cut the deficit to five, and Singler then made two free throws with 36 seconds left to put the Ducks ahead 61-54. A Cunningham 3-pointer cut the lead to four

After Singler missed two foul shots, Nelson rebounded a teammate's miss and scored to make it 61-59 with 9 seconds left.

"I thought we finished well," said Singler, a former South Medford standout who also had six rebounds. "I thought we composed ourselves and finished the game well."

Sim, who had scored in double figures just twice in the previous eight games, had 10 points at halftime.

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