Oregon may have delayed a news conference by advancing to the second round of the Pacific Life Pac-10 Tournament.
With time seemingly run out on Ernie Kent's Oregon coaching career, the Ducks gave him a reprieve. Tajuan Porter scored 32 points, eight in overtime, in an 82-80 victory that was secured only when a jumper by Washington State's Reggie Moore bounced harmlessly off the rim at Staples Center.
Kent, who is expected to be bought out at season's end, will have at least one more game. The Ducks (16-15) will play regular-season champion California today.
Oregon appeared to have the game in hand, leading, 62-52, with 7 minutes 29 minutes left. But the Ducks crumbled, as the Cougars made four three-pointers, two by Klay Thompson and two by Nikola Koprivica, during a three-minute blitz to take a 71-68 lead.
Then it was Washington State's turn to give the game. The Cougars missed two one-and-ones and made only one of four free throws in the last 1:20.
Porter missed a short shot, but E.J. Singler tipped in the rebound at the buzzer to send the game into overtime.
Both teams went through severe bouts of sloppiness throughout the game. Washington State made six of its first shots, but also turned the ball over on seven of eight possess early in the first half. The Cougars had 17 turnovers. The Ducks had 16 turnovers and shad only one field goal in the last six minutes of regulation.
Thompson had 20 points to lead Washington State (16-15).
Kent will be let go at season's end, according to multiple media reports. He has 234-172 record, giving him the most victories in school history, and has taken the Ducks to five NCAA tournaments in his 14 seasons. He reportedly will receive a $1.1-million buyout from an athletic department that lost $642,000 the last fiscal year, according to a state board of higher education.
After the Ducks finished last a year ago and tied for eighth this season, and with a new arena opening next fall, athletic department officials are expected to make a change.