LAS VEGAS (AP) — Joseph Young walked down the hall holding a phone, watching a video of the last-second shot he had made a few minutes earlier. When the ball fell through the net, the Oregon senior pursed his lips and nodded his head as if to say, “Yeah, that’s right.”
A shot like that was worth watching again.
Young hit a long 3-pointer with 1.1 seconds left and scored 25 points, helping Oregon outlast No. 17 Utah 67-64 on Friday night to earn a spot in the Pac-12 Tournament championship game.
“I felt like if I set my feet right, straight up and down, follow through, and that’s all she wrote,” Young said.
Both teams started hot and spent the night trading baskets in front of a raucous, largely pro-Utah crowd inside MGM Grand Arena.
No. 2 seed Oregon (25-8) led 64-60 with about 90 seconds left, but Utah’s Dakarai Tucker hit two free throws, and Young was called for an offensive foul with 12 seconds remaining.
Delon Wright was fouled by Jordan Bell about 30 feet from the basket, and the Utah senior hit both free throws, setting up Oregon’s final shot.
Oregon coach Dana Altman wanted to have Young come off a screen to get the shot, but the 6-foot-2 guard insisted on bringing the ball up himself. Instead of taking the ball to the basket as Altman thought, Young pulled up from close to 35 feet and made it.
The Utes (24-8) had one last chance, but Wright’s desperation heave missed, sending the Ducks charging out after Young and into Saturday night’s championship game against No. 5 Arizona.
“That was a heck of a shot,” Utah coach Larry Krystkowiak said.
Dillon Brooks had 14 points, and Elgin Cook 13 for the Ducks.
Brandon Taylor had 24 points, and Wright added 16 for the Utes.
Utah started slowly in its quarterfinal game against Stanford on Thursday, appearing as if its late-season shooting woes would continue. That changed in the second half, when the Utes started dropping in 3-pointers, finishing 12 of 19 from behind the arc in the 80-56 win.
Oregon had a similar start against Colorado to earn a spot in the semifinals after revving up its pressure defense. Young scored 30 points, and the Ducks outscored the Buffaloes 27-2 in points off turnovers.
Oregon won the lone meeting between these teams 69-58 after Dillon Brooks scored 11 straight points late in the second half.
Utah attempted 29 3-pointers in that game, six more than it attempted from 2-point range.
Both teams came out firing from behind the arc in the rematch, combining to go 7 of 10 in the opening 4 1/2 minutes.
The Ducks and Utes went through two long scoreless droughts before the shots started falling again late in the half.
Taylor was nearly unstoppable, scoring 16 points, but the Utes had 11 turnovers and led only 31-30 at halftime.
Young got rolling in the second half, just as he did against Colorado, dropping in one shot after another as the back and forth continued.
Taylor, who was quiet for a big chunk of the second half, hit a 3-pointer to tie it at 60-all with 2 1/2 minutes left, setting up the furious finish.
“I was proud of the way our guys fought back,” Krystkowiak said.
Oregon: Taylor was 6 for 9 from 3-point range, but the rest of the team was 2 for 12.
Utah: The Utes had a 36-24 rebounding advantage.
Oregon: will face top-seeded Arizona in Saturday’s championship game.
Utah: has to wait until Sunday to see if it will play in the NCAA Tournament.
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