January 30, 2015

TEMPE, Ariz. (AP) Oregon's trip to the desert had been a nightmare. A blowout loss to Arizona followed by an extra-long ride in a rickety bus.

Then Joseph Young and Elgin Cook turned the Ducks' fortunes, sending them into the second half of the Pac-12 season with a winning conference record.

Young shook off a poor shooting night to hit a jumper with 25.6 seconds left in overtime, Cook added 23 points and Oregon pulled out a 68-67 victory over Arizona State on Friday night.

''It was gut-check time,'' Cook said.

Young was 3 of 11 from the field before his mid-range jumper gave him 14 points as the Ducks (15-7, 5-4) bounced back from a 90-56 rout at No. 6 Arizona -- coach Dana Altman's worst loss in his five seasons -- two days earlier.

That was followed by a lengthy trip to Tempe on an old bus that made Oregon late for practice on Thursday. Buses were at a premium with the Super Bowl and PGA Tour in the state.

''We haven't been beaten like that in a really long time,'' Altman said. ''When they hit the shot there (to force OT), it would have been really easy for the momentum to shift their way. I thought our guys did a real good job fighting through.''

Shaquielle McKissic scored a career-high 24 points, including an off-balance, 24-footer with 1.2 seconds left in regulation to tie it for Arizona State. But McKissic lost the ball on the Sun Devils' final possession, which ended on Bo Barnes' desperation 3-point heave at the buzzer that was an air ball.

Tra Holder added 16 points for Arizona State (11-11, 3-6), which saw starting center Eric Jacobsen (eight points) foul out at the end of regulation.

McKissic blocked Cook's shot in the lane with under a minute left in overtime and Oregon leading 66-65. McKissic's driving layup on the ensuing possession put Arizona State ahead, but Young answered with the game's final basket.

Young added seven assists, often giving Cook good looks. Cook was 8 of 12 from the field and hit all six free throws while adding six rebounds in 40 minutes.

''It's like two or three people crashing on Joe every time he draws the ball,'' Cook said. ''I'm just trying to find open areas.''

McKissic bailed out Arizona State at the end of regulation with his tying shot from the left wing after a play broke down. The sixth-year senior hit 6 of 10 3-pointers and added five rebounds, but couldn't keep Arizona State from being swept in the season series.

McKissic missed a tying 3-pointer at the buzzer in a 59-56 loss in Eugene three weeks ago.

''Execution,'' McKissic said of his team's late-game woes. ''Joe Young, he makes shots like those.''

While Arizona State missed numerous chances to take the lead in regulation thanks to its 7 of 15 free-throw shooting, Oregon's Ahmaad Rorie missed the front end of a 1-and-1 with 14 seconds left to set up McKissic's tying hoop.''

The rare Friday night Pac-12 game -- scheduled because the Phoenix area is hosting the Super Bowl on Sunday -- produced 15 lead changes.

What did in Arizona State?

''Free throw shooting. It's really simple,'' coach Herb Sendek said. ''You have got to make free throws in a close game to win.''

TIP-INS

Oregon: Jordan Bell had two blocks to give him 71, adding to the school single season record. . Bell avoided a flagrant foul early when he shoved Holder to the floor. . Freshman Casey Benson had a point and an assist in his return to his hometown. Benson led Corona del Sol, eight miles from Wells Fargo Arena, to three high school state titles.

Arizona State: Roosevelt Scott and Connor MacDougall, suspended for the past three games for violating team rules, were reinstated but didn't play. . Sendek tweaked the starting lineup, with Gilling replacing the struggling Savon Goodman.

UP NEXT

Oregon hosts Washington on Wednesday.

Arizona State hosts Arizona on Feb. 7.

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