EUGENE, Ore. -- Malcolm Armstead had five steals and Oregon outscored Creighton 35-9 off turnovers, forcing a decisive third game in the 2011 College Basketball Invitational with a 71-58 win on Wednesday night in Eugene.
Oregon improved to 20-18 with the win, coach Dana Altman's 13th 20-win season in the last 14 seasons. Creighton is now 23-15.
Friday's winner-take-all game will also take place in Eugene at Matthew Knight Arena, and begin at 9:05 pm Central. The game will be televised on HDNet.Oregon's aggressive defense gave Creighton fits throughout the first half. Creighton fell behind 15-8 before back-to-back Josh Jones three-pointers narrowed that gap. Oregon then opened up a 25-16 lead at the 4:43 mark on a Joevan Catron lay-up in transition, prompting a CU timeout. Creighton halted the momentum with a three-pointer by Kaleb Korver, but Oregon then had another 10-2 surge to close the half with a 35-21 lead. Doug McDermott, Creighton's leading scorer and freshman, played just four minutes in the first half after two fouls in the first four minutes.
Jones led Creighton with six points in the first half as CU shot just 39.1 percent from the floor and Oregon turned 12 CU turnovers into 19 points. Oregon was paced by 10 points and three steals by Armstead. The Ducks shot 59.3 percent in the first half, including 15-of-21 from two-point range.
Oregon's Garrett Sim had seven points in a 68 second span as the Ducks opened the second half with a 9-2 run that quickly ended any hopes of a Jays comeback. After Oregon went up 21 points (56-35) on a Catron putback at the 11:39 mark, Creighton put together an 11-2 surge to get within 58-46 at the 8:21 mark. But just as Creighton's comeback began taking flight, Jay-R Strowbridge and Catron sank consecutive three-pointers to ice the game.
Creighton was led by 10 points each from Jahenns Manigat and Gregory Echenique, while Echenique had a team-best eight rebounds. Creighton shot 41.9 percent overall and 15-of-18 at the line. The teams were tied with 27 rebounds each.
Oregon was led by 18 points from Catron and 14 from Armstead, while E.J. Singler had 10 points. The Ducks shot 53.4 percent from the floor and had 13 steals. The Ducks outscored CU 44-16 in the paint.
NOTES: This was the third all-time meeting between Creighton and Oregon, and first in Eugene ... Tonight's game was played on March 30th, the latest game on the calendar in school history. Friday's game will be Creighton's first game in April ever.