Virginia edges out OR 53-49 in Sweet Sixteen

Virginia edges out OR 53-49 in Sweet Sixteen

Virginia edges out OR 53-49 in Sweet Sixteen

The Oregon Ducks and Virginia Cavaliers played without much foul trouble.

Junior point guard Ty Jerome recorded 13 points, six rebounds and six assists as Virginia held off OR 53-49 in the Sweet 16 of the South Region on Thursday night at Louisville, Ky. Virginia is seeking its first Final Four appearance since 1984, while Purdue is trying to get there for the first time since 1980. OR took a 45-42 lead on a Louis King three-pointer with 5:43 left, but the Ducks didn't make another basket.

King made two free throws with 1.1 seconds left to make it a three-point margin before Clark split two free throws with 0.5 seconds left to seal it for the Cavaliers. "We just got away (from) what got us there in the first place", Pritchard said. "I can feel that. Then after watching them, I thought they're not the same team either", says Jacks head coach Aaron Johnston. Purdue defeated No. 2 seed Tennessee 99-94 in overtime earlier Thursday night in perhaps the best game of the tournament. It blew a 16-point second-half lead in Chicago against No. 10 seed Syracuse, losing 68-62. Ty Jerome scored 13 points to lead four Cavaliers in double figures. The Ducks were held scoreless over the final five minutes where a basket or two could have made the difference in the game.

Virginia out-rebounded the Ducks 20-15 - impressive given the height of the Ducks - and had three turnovers compared to Oregon's six. Despite having one of the strongest freshman classes in the nation (even without Bol), the Ducks weren't able to consistently win games and desperately needed a leader heading into the Pac-12 tournament facing elimination from the NCAA tournament. Virginia shot only 35.7 percent from the field; OR was at 37.8 percent.

They were led by senior guard Ehab Amin, who had a team-high eight first-half points off the bench.

"We've really had a lot of, yeah, especially the younger players stepping up into bigger roles for us. It's going to be fun to be able to play South Dakota State again and see all the changes we can make and how well we do", says OR junior Ruthy Hebard.

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Hunter also had an off-night on the offensive end, scoring 11, but shooting just 4-of-13.

The Ducks trailed by eight at halftime but opened the half with a 12-5 run, moving within 35-34 on White's 3-pointer with 14:40 left.

Virginia finished the first half shooting a low 36.4 percent on field goals and 27.8 from beyond the arc. His three-pointer with 5:21 remaining put Virginia ahead for good at 48-45. Carsen Edwards made two of three free throws with 1.7 seconds remaining in regulation to force OT for the Boilermakers.

King's 16 points led OR, while Payton Pritchard had 11 and Paul White 10. The Ducks were on a roll and winning big thanks to a lineup featuring four 6-foot-9 starters, but the Cavaliers kept them from being a factor to reach the regional final.

"We're in March, and it's 40-minute territory, as Coach always tells us", Guy said. "So it helps that we try to stay calm under pressure and that we try to execute and get stops defensively, no matter what the score is or how hectic the game is going". We were doing all the things we practice every day.

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