Cook scores 26 as No. 13 Oregon tops Washington
EUGENE, Ore. (AP) The last time the 13th-ranked Oregon Ducks ran the table on their own floor, they went on to win their only conference title and reached the Elite Eight of the 2002 NCAA Tournament.
Sunday night they took that first step again as Elgin Cook matched his career-high with 26 points to lead Oregon to an 86-73 victory over Washington.
Now, after going 18-0 at home, winning the Pac-12 title will require at least a split this week at UCLA and USC to finish the regular season. The Ducks are a half-game up on Utah and a game ahead of California.
''We just want to finish out strong,'' Cook said. ''We just want to take our home mentality and go on the road with it.''
Dillon Brooks added 19 points for Oregon (23-6, 12-4), which won its 25th consecutive home game to extend the school record it set with Wednesday's win over Washington State. Casey Benson and Jordan Bell each had 12 points.
Andrew Andrews scored 16 of his 21 points in the second half to lead the Huskies (16-13, 8-9), and Dejounte Murray had 20.
The Ducks overwhelmed Washington inside with a 44-26 advantage in points in the paint and a 40-26 edge in rebounds, led by Cook's seven.
''The rebounds and (the Huskies) shooting only 39 percent were the two stats that were really important to us,'' Oregon coach Dana Altman said.
The Ducks also were 26 of 35 at the foul line, with Cook going 10 of 11, and they had double the second-chance points (14) as Washington did.
''They had three second-chance points at the half and 14 (for the game),'' Washington coach Lorenzo Romar said. ''Obviously, that helped them and hurt us.''
Washington trailed by 15 twice in the second half but cut the gap to 67-61 behind 12 straight points from Andrews. After trading baskets for several minutes, Oregon was still up by only six before a 5-0 run pushed its lead to 76-65 on Bell's fast-break dunk with 3:50 left.
Washington never got closer than nine points the rest of the way.
''I thought our guys fought,'' Romar said. ''I thought we went out and gave a great effort. We couldn't get over the hump.''
Cook, playing his final home game before a sellout crowd, led the Ducks to a 40-32 halftime lead with seven early points and 13 by the break. It was the third time this season that he finished with 26 points.
''It was surreal,'' Cook said. ''Coming from (junior college three years ago), it's been a long road and it's just amazing. It was amazing.''
Now all that's left for Oregon to accomplish before tournament play is to avoid being the regular-season bridesmaid again.
''The last four years we've been second, second, third and second (in the Pac-12),'' Altman said, ''so one of these days we've got to get it done. Let's swing away.''
LEANING ON EXPERIENCE
Last season Oregon finished with three road wins and then won twice more at the Pac-12 tournament in Las Vegas, which coach Dana Altman hopes will bode well for the trip to Los Angeles this week. ''I think those guys have that experience to draw from,'' he said. ''We've also won at two of the most difficult places to play (this season) in Arizona and Utah, but it's going to be difficult. Both UCLA and USC are battling for their lives.''
Washington: The Huskies, the nation's top shot-blocking team, had only one against the Ducks and need 12 more to break Arizona State's Pac-12 record of 211 set three seasons ago. . Andrew Andrews became the fifth Washington player and 50th in conference history to score 1,000 points in Pac-12 games only. He now has 1,020.
Oregon: The Ducks have five seniors on their roster but honored only four after their final home game, because Chris Boucher will petition for another year of eligibility after the season. . With two games to go, Oregon is now 36-16 during the second half of Pac-12 play in six seasons under coach Dana Altman. Only Arizona is better over that span. . Unless the Ducks are sent to Spokane for the first round of the NCAA Tournament, this will be the first time in 100 years that they have not played a game in the state of Washington.
Washington hosts Washington State on Wednesday.
Oregon plays at UCLA on Wednesday.