LOS ANGELES — For a tense period Saturday night inside the Galen Center, everything the Oregon Ducks had built over the past several months was being called into question. 

Before this week, the Ducks were 21-3, 10-0 in Pac-12 play and had recently climbed back to its initial preseason ranking of No. 5 in the nation. 

Then the Ducks blew a 19-point lead to No. 10 UCLA on Thursday. 

Bad loss? Not on paper. Bad way to lose? You bet, especially with a talented USC team coming up two days later. 

Now here Saturday night, it was happening again. The Ducks mounted an 11-point lead. Then they blew it as the offense struggled to get inside USC’s zone, ball movement slowed and the Ducks struggled to get much production from their role players. 

But before everything could bottom out for Oregon, which was selected as a No. 2-seed in the early NCAA Tournament seedings Saturday morning by the selection committee, the Ducks pulled out of their spiral. 

Two three-pointers in the final two minutes by Tyler Dorsey ensured that in the Ducks 81-70 win over the Trojans. 

Now, instead of falling two games back of Arizona in the Pac-12 standings and into a tie with UCLA, the Ducks will return to Eugene sandwiched a game back of the Wildcats and one ahead of the Bruins in the Pac-12 race. 

It certainly wasn’t the textbook way to do it. 

Oregon jumped out to an 11-point lead late in the first half mainly in part to USC’s ineptitude on the offensive end. The Trojans suffered a drought where they didn’t score a field goal for five minutes, as an 11-11 game turned into a 28-17 Oregon lead with four minutes to play in the half.  

But just as Oregon allowed UCLA to come back Thursday night, the Ducks allowed their lead over the Trojans to slip away in the final minutes of the half, as USC closed on a 16-7 run to bring the game within a bucket at the half. 

The Trojans took the lead on a Jordan McLaughlin three-pointer with 16:35 remaining in the second and extended it to four points midway through the half with Bennie Boatwright at the line. 

Behind Dillon Brooks, who finished with a team-high 21 points, the Ducks would battle back to retake the lead and extend it to eight points. 

Then Brooks fouled out and USC cut Oregon’s lead to three. But two key three-pointers by Tyler Dorsey would bail the Ducks out to help secure the SoCal split. 

Dorsey finished with 19 points and Jordan Bell, who had a career-high 15 rebounds on Thursday, had 14 boards and 12 points. 

Now, the Ducks return to Eugene for their final two home games of the year with Utah and Colorado set to visit. 

*This story will be updated

— Tyson Alger

Our editors found this article on this site using Google and regenerated it for our readers.