LOS ANGELES — Damyean Dotson scored 16 points and No. 21 Oregon overcame a poor shooting night and the hot hand of USC’s J.T. Terrell to win its sixth straight game, 76-74 on Thursday night.
The Ducks (15-2, 4-0 Pac-12) opened with four straight conference wins for the first time in 39 years when they started 4-0 in the Pac-8.
USC (7-11, 2-3) was coming off a victory over Utah last week, but it marked the final game for coach Kevin O’Neill, who was fired on Monday. Bob Cantu, in his 12th season as an assistant with the program, is the interim coach.
The Trojans were down 75-67 with 2:11 remaining. Terrell, who had 22 points, made two free throws to cut Oregon’s lead to 75-74 with 33.1 seconds left. USC was able to get the ball back but missed a 3-pointer and a couple of putbacks with Oregon’s Arsalan Kazemi finally grabbing the rebound.
The Ducks began the night with all starters averaging double figures in scoring. E.J. Singler had 14 points, while Dominic Artis, Carl Emory and Tony Woods each added 10, but the Ducks shot just 42.9 percent (27 for 63) from the field.
Eric Wise had 17 points for the Trojans.
USC led for just 30 seconds of the first half, but got in position to take the lead early in the second half when Terrell hit a 3-pointer from the left baseline, was fouled, then made his free throw to complete the four-point play and cut Oregon’s lead to 45-44. In the ensuing minutes, the Trojans had several chances to tie the game or go ahead, but missed shots and turned the ball over.
The Trojans got a boost early in the second half from 7-footer Dewayne Dedmon, who scored seven points in the opening four minutes of the second half after going scoreless in the first half.
Neither team shot well in the first half, Oregon making 12 of 29 field goals (41 percent), slightly better than USC’s 11 for 28 (39 percent). But the Trojans got a strong first half from Terrell, who rejoined the starting lineup last week. Terrell was five of nine from the field, including three of six on 3-pointers, and led all scorers at halftime with 15 points.
Johnathan Lloyd, who went into the game averaging 2.9 points, provided a spark off the bench in the opening half for the Ducks, hitting two 3-pointers and getting a steal that led to a basket. Woods led the Ducks’ balanced scoring attack (eight players scored) with eight points at the half.
Also on Thursday:
No. 3 Duke 73
Georgia Tech 57
DURHAM, N.C. — Seth Curry scored 24 points to lead Duke past Georgia Tech. Mason Plumlee added 16 points and 13 rebounds for the Blue Devils (16-1, 3-1 Atlantic Coast Conference). Freshman Chris Bolden’s 20 points were the most scored by a Georgia Tech player this season.
No. 5 Michigan 83
No. 9 Minnesota 75
MINNEAPOLIS — Tim Hardaway Jr. scored 21 points and Trey Burke had 18 points and nine assists for Michigan (17-1, 4-1 Big Ten). Austin Hollins led the Gophers (15-3, 3-2) with 21 points.
No. 8 Gonzaga 71
PORTLAND — Kelly Olynyk had 21 points and eight rebounds as Gonzaga won its eighth straight. Kevin Pangos added 14 points, including four 3-pointers for Gonzaga (17-1, 4-0 WCC), as the Bulldogs extended the best start in school history. Kevin Bailey had 16 points for the Pilots (8-11, 1-3) .
No. 10 Florida 68
Texas A&M 47
COLLEGE STATION, Texas — Mike Rosario scored 19 points and Patric Young added 18 for Florida. The Aggies led by one point midway through the first half before a big run by the Gators (12-4, 2-1 Southeastern Conference) gave them a 35-18 halftime lead.
No. 22 VCU 92
Saint Joseph’s 86
RICHMOND, Va. — Treveon Graham scored six of his 25 points in overtime after Virginia Commonwealth (15-3, 3-0 Atlantic 10) rallied late in regulation to tie it.
No. 23 Illinois 54
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — Reggie Hearn scored 20 points and Northwestern built an early lead using 3-point shooting to hand Illinois (14-5, 1-4) its third straight loss.