SEATTLE — Oregon would like to spring forward more than one hour.
The Ducks are anxious to arrive at the Pac-12 Tournament after wrapping up the regular season Saturday night with a wire-to-wire 55-47 win over conference champion Washington in front of a sellout crowd of 10,000 at Alaska Airlines Arena.
The Ducks (19-12, 10-8) moved up to the sixth seed at the conference tournament in Las Vegas where they will open against Washington State at 8:30 p.m. Wednesday. Oregon heads into the postseason with the longest winning streak in the conference at four straight games, including victories over each of the top two teams in the standings.
“We have confidence going to Vegas,” Oregon freshman Francis Okoro said. “It is all about staying focused and lifting each other up. I believe in my teammates. If we keep playing the way we played tonight, I think we’ve got a chance.”
Oregon ruined Washington’s emotional senior night and gave the Huskies (24-7, 15-3) their first loss in 16 home games this season. Washington had a season low in points while shooting 33.3 percent from the field, including 3-for-20 on 3-pointers.
“On a night we didn’t shoot it well and didn’t shoot free throws worth a darn, we had to win it in other ways and I thought our activity was pretty good,” UO coach Dana Altman said. “I liked the way our guys were flying at their shots. We ran them off the line pretty good. I was real happy our guys defensively found a way again.”
Payton Pritchard had five steals as Oregon forced 15 turnovers for the Huskies that led to 16 points for the Ducks.
“Our ball pressure has to be tight and if we get beat, we’ve got help,” Pritchard said.
UW point guard David Crisp, who averages 12.9 points, went 1-for-7 from the field while scoring four points. The Huskies had four assists on 16 baskets.
Oregon was 4-for-22 on 3-pointers, but was able to get shots for Okoro and Paul White in the middle of UW’s zone and Kenny Wooten at the basket. White was 4-for-8 from the field for 10 points while Okoro was 4-for-5 with nine points and Wooten went 3-for-4 for six points as the Ducks scored 32 points in the paint.
“That’s the thing about their zone, they are long but once you get in there, there are gaps,” said Pritchard, who led Oregon with 16 points and three assists.
Oregon regularly ran down the shot clock during the second half and finished 17-of-27 on two-point attempts.
“We wanted to try and get some transition, but if not, we were on the road and got the lead,” Altman said. “We had some shots in the first half early in the shot clock, but in the second half we had a harder time getting it inside so the clock did run down.”
After Matisse Thybulle opened the game with a 3-pointer, Wooten dunked an alley-oop from Pritchard and Okoro scored to put Oregon ahead for the only lead change of the game. White scored to give Oregon an 18-6 lead as Washington missed 12 of its first 14 shots.
Pritchard stretched the margin to 24-8 before UW scored on six straight possessions to get within 27-18 at halftime.
UW cut the lead to 30-27 before Pritchard hit a 3-pointer and Okoro followed with a basket. Nahziah Carter converted a 3-point play to get the Huskies within 37-34 before Miles Norris and Pritchard each converted 3-point plays to push the lead to 43-34.
Jaylen Nowell, who led UW with 17 points, had a 3-point play to cut UO’s lead to 43-40 with 7:52 to play, but Pritchard answered again with a 3-pointer and Louis King got a tip-in.
Washington’s final run got within 48-44 before Pritchard made two free throws with 3:07 to play. With the shot clock ready to expire on Oregon’s next possession, King tossed up an off-balance 3-pointer that went int to put the Ducks up 53-44.
“Lou threw one in,” Altman said. “That was kind of a backbreaker there.”
Okoro had 10 rebounds to help the Ducks to a 37-28 advantage on the boards.
“All of our focus was on defense, rebounding, and playing together,” Okoro said. “That’s the formula.”