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Ducks sit atop Pac-12 with 3 games to go

Oregon Ducks' Chris Boucher (#25) gets a rebound while a Washington State Cougar player tries to reach around him. Boucher played a double-double with 18 points and 13 rebounds. The Ducks beat the Cougars 76-62. Kianna Cabuco, Oregon News Lab

EUGENE, Ore. (AP) Elgin Cook scored 16 of his 24 points in the second half to lead No. 13 Oregon to a 76-62 victory over Washington State on Wednesday night.

Chris Boucher had 18 points and 13 rebounds, and Dillon Brooks added 17 points for the Ducks (22-6, 11-4 Pac-12), who set a school record with their 24th consecutive home win.

Along with No. 9 Arizona's 75-72 loss at Colorado, the Ducks also regained sole possession of the Pac-12 lead with three games remaining.

Que Johnson led the Cougars (9-19, 1-15) with 19 points before fouling out midway through the second half. Josh Hawkinson added 17 points and 10 rebounds for Washington State, which has lost 14 straight.

Oregon's lead reached a high of 19 points when Cook scored the first four points of the second half. The Cougars came no closer than 11 the rest of the way.

Cook also made 10 of 11 free throws as Oregon finished 17 of 20 from the foul line. The Ducks were coming off a season-best 29 of 33 in Sunday's win over Oregon State.

The Ducks, now 17-0 at home this season, never trailed and had Washington State down 17-3 after the first five minutes. The Cougars cut the gap to seven twice as Que Johnson heated up for 14 points, but Oregon closed the half by hitting six straight free throws for a 42-27 lead.

Boucher had 10 points and seven rebounds by halftime, but defense made the difference for the Ducks, whose three-quarter-court press helped force 10 turnovers that they turned into 19 points.

The struggling Cougars, who are assured of the 12th seed at next month's conference tournament in Las Vegas, fell to 0-18 after trailing at halftime.

TIP-INS

Washington State: The Cougars' 14-game losing streak matches the longest in Ernie Kent's 21 seasons as a college head coach at three schools. Kent's penultimate team at Oregon lost 14 straight on its way to an 8-23 finish in 2008-09. ... Kent used his 14th different starting lineup of the season against the Ducks. Junior Ike Iroegbu is the only Cougar to start all 28 games. ... For the first time since 1922, the Cougars and Ducks did not meet at least twice in the regular season.

Oregon: The Ducks' strength of schedule ranks first in the nation. ... The last time Oregon won 23 in a row, Ernie Kent, Washington State's second-year coach, was in his sixth season with the Ducks in 2002-03. ... Chris Boucher is closing in on teammate Jordan Bell's school record for blocked shots in a season. Boucher had four blocks to give him 91 in 28 games Bell blocked 94 shots in 35 games as a freshman last season.

UP NEXT

Washington State plays at Oregon State on Sunday.

Oregon hosts Washington on Sunday.

Copyright 2016 The Associated Press

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