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THURSDAY COLLEGE MEN'S BASKETBALL ROUNDUP/Portland State loses in Big Sky quarterfinals; Warner Pacific wins its NAIA opener, advances to Friday second-round game in South Dakota

COLLEGE MEN'S BASKETBALL

USC 61, Oregon State 48

Oregon 68, Utah 66

• The Pac-12 tournament came to an end for the Beavers, but the Ducks pulled out a remarkable comeback victory for the second night in a row at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Oregon State fell to 16-16 with their quarterfinal loss to USC.

The Ducks (22-11) moved into the semifinals. They will play the Trojans at 8:30 p.m. Friday.

The other semi will have UCLA going up against Arizona at 6 p.m. Friday. The Bruins beat Stanford, 88-77, while the Wildcats downed Colorado, 83-67.

• Oregon was down by 11 points to Utah in the second half.

And the Utes, trailing 68-66, got to the rim in the final second for what looked like it would be a tying layup, only to have Oregon's Kenny Wooten — as he did the night before twice in the closing seconds of overtime against Washington State — block a point-blank shot and preserve the win.

The Ducks trailed 30-25 at the half, after shooting 8 of 27 from the field.

Oregon briefly had the lead early in the second half, then went cold.

But the Ducks found a second, or third, wind and fought back. They got within 62-60 with three minutes remaining and 64-63 with 1:53 left.

With 1:14 to go, UO's MiKyle McIntosh made two free throws for a 65-64 lead.

Utah reclaimed the lead with a pair of foul shots one second later.

McIntosh hit a shot in the key as he was hammered with 1:02 to play, and his free-throw for a three-point play put the Ducks on top, 68-66.

Utah missed a 3, and Oregon rebounded. But Ducks point guard Payton Pritchard missed the rim on a layup, giving the Utes possession with 9.7 seconds on the clock.

The rest was more history for Wooten and the Ducks.

Elijah Brown of Oregon led all scorers with 21 points, and McIntosh had 18. Brown was 7 of 12 from 3-point range.

Utah hit 51.2 percent from the field to Oregon's 37.7 percent.

• USC built a 29-19 lead and kept the Beavers at bay.

For OSU, Stephen Thompson Jr. had 12 points and Drew Eubanks and Tres Tinkle each had 11 (Tinkle's 35th consecutive game in double figures). Eubanks added nine rebounds.

Eastern Washington 78, Portland State 72

• The Vikings were eliminated from the Big Sky tournament with their quarterfinal loss at Reno Events Center in Nevada.

Iffy shooting plagued the Viks, as it had numerous times during the season. PSU finished at 37.9 percent from the field, while EWU hit 52.0 percent. The Eagles made 10 3-pointers to the Vikings' five.

PSU stayed somewhat close by making 13 steals, forcing 18 turnovers and scoring 28 points off turnovers.

While Eastern Washington had a 35-point scorer in Big Sky player of the year Bogdan Bliznyuk, the Vikings' top scorer was Derek Brown with 14 (5 of 5 from the field, 10 consecutive PSU points during the second half).

Portland State rallied to within 72-68 with 1:15 remaining, but Bliznyuk came up with a three-point play to regain the Eagles' momentum.

Portland State dropped to 20-13.

Eastern Washington (19-13) will go into Friday's Big Sky semifinals against Southern Utah, the 10th seed, at 8 p.m. PT. No. 1 seed Montana and No. 5 seed Northern Colorado tip off the other semifinal at 5:30 p.m. PT.

Warner Pacific 68, Southeastern (Lakeland, Florida) 57

• The Knights of Southeast Portland and the Cascade Collegiate Conference made it through the first round of the NAIA Division II tournament at Sioux Falls, South Dakota.

Warner Pacific, the third seed in its eight-team bracket, improved to 24-9. The Knights will play in the second round at 3:45 p.m. PT Friday against Morningside of Iowa (27-6), which stopped Trinity International (21-11) of Illinois, 87-69.

Southeastern, which was seeded sixth in the bracket, finished the season 21-10.

Xavier Cannefax scored a game-high 22 points for Warner Pacific, and De'Jon Bowman had 13 points and a game-leading 20 rebounds.

Cannefax was 8 of 16 from the field, Bowman 5 for 12.

Warner Pacific survived its 1-for-11 shooting from 3-point distance, with Southeastern going only 4 for 27.

Each team was averaging 85.3 points per game coming into the tournament.

The teams were tied at the half, 32-32, with neither shooting particularly well (Southeastern made 41.2 percent from the field in the half; Warner Pacific shot 39.4 percent).

Cannefax had nine points and Bowman nine rebounds at halftime.

WPC grabbed a lead midway through the second half. The Fire got down by double digits with 2 1/2 minutes remaining.

The Knights, who were runner-up in the CCC, had a 46-38 edge in points in the paint and 15-4 advantage in points off turnovers.

The tournament runs through Tuesday.

The event began on Wednesday, with CCC entry Oregon Tech, a sixth seed, falling to third-seeded Briar Cliff of Iowa, 80-70.

CCC champion College of Idaho, a No. 1 seed, defeated a No. 8, Mayville State of North Dakota, 66-50, on Thursday afternoon. C of I will meet South Dakota's Dakota Wesleyan at 5:30 p.m. Friday.

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