Ducks put away pesky Sun Devils
T-Mobile Arena, Las Vegas
Oregon 80, Arizona State 57
The top-seeded Ducks fought off a challenge from the eighth-seeded Sun Devils on Thursday afternoon and moved into the conference semifinals.
Oregon (28-4) will play at 6 p.m. Friday against fifth seed California, which held off a late charge by fourth seed Utah for a 78-75 victory on Thursday.
ASU dropped to 15-18.
For Oregon, Dillon Brooks scored 22 points and Tyler Dorsey 21 points and nine rebounds. Dylan Ennis grabbed 12 rebounds and scored seven points.
Both teams came out firing well, with ASU especially hot from the outside and 3-point range. Oregon managed to pull out a 34-31 halftime lead. Brooks had 11 points; Torian Graham had 16 of his career-high 32 points.
The fifth-ranked Ducks got off to a strong start after the break, and ASU cooled off a bit. As a result, Oregon built a 52-36 lead in the first seven minutes of the second half.
The Sun Devils had another surge left in them, though, and closed to within 60-52 before the seven-minute mark.
The 8:30 p.m. semifinal will match Arizona and UCLA. The Wildcats won 92-78 over California on Thursday, and at the end of the night the Bruins had all sorts of trouble with USC before closing out the Trojans in the closing seconds, 76-74.
Big Sky quarterfinal
Reno (Nevada) Events Center
North Dakota 95, Portland State 72
The top-seeded Fighting Hawks blistered PSU in the first half and went on to end the Vikings' conference tournament run.
North Dakota raced to a 26-point lead with 4:22 left in the opening half and went to intermission on top 49-35. UND shot 49.4 percent from the field in the half; PSU made 45.7 percent. The Fighting Hawks were 7 of 12 on 3's; the Vikings were 2 of 10.
Portland State wasn't able to make a move in the second half, and the UND lead increased to 30 with 3:53 remaining.
Portland State got 12 points from Bryce Canda and 11 from Deontae North.
The Vikings, seeded eighth, had advanced with a win Tuesday over No. 9 Northern Arizona.
PSU fell to 15-16.
North Dakota (20-9) will play at 5:30 p.m. Friday in the semifinals against the winner of the Idaho-Montana game.
Oregon State 2, Ball State 0
At Goss Stadium
Behind the pitching of Bryce Fehmel, the Beavers (11-1) won their sixth game in a row and improved to 4-0 at home.
Ball State fell to 8-5.
Sophomore right-hander Fehmel (2-1 in three starts) gave up only one hit through eight innings — a single with one out in the second — with one walk and four strikeouts.
Max Englebrekt came on in the ninth for OSU, struck out the first two batters and then ended the game on a grounder to shortstop, earning his fourth save of the year.
The Beavers finished with eight hits — two each by Nick Madrigal and Steven Kwan — and left 10 men on base to two for Ball State.
OSU, fourth in the USA Today coaches poll and D1Baseball.com rankings, took a 2-0 lead in the second inning, scoring on a wild pitch and Nick Madrigal's single.
The teams will meet again Friday in what has been changed from a single game to a 1:30 p.m. doubleheader.
Oregon 6, Santa Clara 2
At PK Park
The Ducks opened a four-game home series with a wire-to-wire win.
Oregon (8-4) had one extra-base hit to go with solid pitching and defense.
Santa Clara dropped to 3-9.
The Ducks broke through in the third inning, when Spencer Steer and Kyle Kasser each stroked an RBI single and Morgan McCullough hit a sacrifice fly.
Three more UO runs plated in the third, with Kasser singling home one of them and McCullough following with a two-run triple.
Santa Clara scored twice in the eighth.
Oregon led in hits, 8-4.
Four Ducks took to the mound, and the second to appear, Parker Kelly (1-0) earned the win. He struck out three and did not allow a hit or walk in pitching the fifth and sixth innings.
Northwestern at Portland, rained out
The Pilots and Wildcats were washed out Thursday.
They'll try to start their nonleague series on Friday with a 3 p.m. doubleheader at Joe Etzel Field, then play a single-game finale at 11 a.m. Saturday.
The series will be the first appearance at home this season for the Pilots (1-9). Northwestern is 2-9.