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Oregon first 12 seed through; St. Mary’s prayer unanswered

Ducks dump Cowboys

Oregon forward Arsalan Kazemi dunks over Oklahoma State forward Michael Cobbins during the first half of the Ducks' 68-55 victory the Cowboys in a Midwest Regional second-round game Thursday in San Jose, Calif.
Oregon forward Arsalan Kazemi dunks over Oklahoma State forward Michael Cobbins during the first half of the Ducks' 68-55 victory the Cowboys in a Midwest Regional second-round game Thursday in San Jose, Calif.

Marcus Smart had his pocket picked twice by Dominic Artis, missed four free throws and played like a jittery freshman instead of a heralded NBA prospect.

Meanwhile, the Oregon Ducks continued a streak that begin in the Pac-12 tournament with a 68-55 victory over Oklahoma State in a Midwest Regional second-round game Thursday in San Jose, Calif.

Damyean Dotson scored 17 points and Arsalan Kazemi added 11 points and 17 rebounds for the 12th-seeded Ducks (27-8), who earned their first tournament win in 6 years.

Dominic Artis scored 13 points and helped frustrate Smart on the defensive end.

“I definitely wish I could have done more for my team,” Smart said. “I feel like I let my team down. I didn’t contribute to my team the way that I usually do. And it hurt us a little bit.”

Smart came into the game with the hype of a top NBA prospect but was held to 14 points on 5-for-13 shooting, a disappointing finish to a stellar season for the Cowboys (24-9).

He turned the ball over five times, was 4-for-8 from the foul line and was unable to exploit his size advantage against Artis and Johnathan Loyd.

Oregon, the Pac-12 tournament champion, advanced to play fourth-seeded Saint Louis (27-6) on Saturday for a spot in the Midwest Regional semifinals in Indianapolis next week.

No. 4 St. Louis 64, No. 13 New Mexico St. 44: Also in San Jose, Dwayne Evans scored 24 points, Cody Ellis added 12 points, and Saint Louis overwhelmed New Mexico State.

Playing through the death of Rick Majerus in December, Saint Louis reached another mark for its late coach. The Billikens (28-6) eclipsed the 1988-89 team’s school record of 27 victories.

Evans shot 11 of 16 and finished a point shy of his career best to propel Saint Louis past 7-foot-5 New Mexico State freshman Sim Bhullar. The Billikens held Bhullar to four points, 11 rebounds and three blocks.

Bandja Sy had 17 points and nine rebounds for the 13th-seeded Aggies (24-11), who shot just 28 percent.

No. 6 Memphis 54, No. 11 St. Mary’s 52: Matthew Dellavedova’s 3-pointer from the right wing missed everything as time expired, allowing sixth-seeded Memphis to hold on for a win over 11th-seeded Saint Mary’s in Auburn Hills, Mich.

The Tigers (31-4) led by 15 in the first half but nearly gave the game away in the final seconds.

With Memphis ahead 54-49, Eividas Petrulis banked in a 3-pointer with 3.1 seconds to play. The Tigers then lost the ball when the Gaels’ Jordan Giusti deflected the inbound pass off Joe Jackson of Memphis and out of bounds.

Saint Mary’s (28-7) was out of timeouts but had a chance to regroup while officials reviewed the previous sequence.

D.J. Stephens had nine points and eight blocks for Memphis, and Jackson had 14 points and seven assists. Brad Waldow scored 17 points to lead Saint Mary’s.

Dellavedova had 10 points, seven assists and six turnovers in 40

No. 1 Louisville 79, No. 16 N. Carolina A&T 48: Russ Smith scored 23 points and set a Louisville NCAA tournament record with a career-high eight steals, and Peyton Siva had eight assists as the Cardinals demolished North Carolina A&T in Lexington, Ky.

Louisville finished with a season-high 20 steals, as it forced the Aggies (20-17) into 27 turnovers. It was the 11th straight win for the Cardinals (30-5), who will play Colorado State on Saturday.

Rick Pitino and the Big East champions quickly ended a postseason run for the Aggies, who finally earned their first NCAA Tournament win on Tuesday. Bruce Beckford led North Carolina A&T with 12 points.

No. 8 Colorado State 84, No. 9 Missouri 72: Also in Lexington, Dorian Green scored 17 of his 26 points in the first half, and Colorado State shot its way to the field of 32.

Green, who went scoreless with five turnovers in last year’s second-round upset to Murray State, did much better this time as the Rams shot nearly 58 percent in the first half.

First-year Rams coach Larry Eustachy earned a victory with his fourth tournament team. Phil Pressey’s 20 points led the Tigers (23-11).

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