Updated Sunday, February 17, 2013 at 12:31 AM
PULLMAN — Oregon's E.J. Singler was prepared for a lot of possible scenarios as he dribbled the ball with the Ducks and Washington State tied in the final seconds of overtime.
What he didn't expect was WSU's Dexter Kernich-Drew to reach out and foul him about 40 feet from the basket.
Singler made both free throws with 3.8 seconds left in OT as No. 23 Oregon escaped with a 79-77 Pac-12 men's basketball victory over slumping Washington State on Saturday.
"Some of the guys were calling 'foul,' so I don't think he knew what the score was," said Singler, who scored 25 points. "I was shocked."
Washington State players and coaches rallied around Kernich-Drew, saying one mistake did not cause the defeat.
"It was just a mistake," teammate Brock Motum said. "It's in the past now. He needs to keep his head up."
"If not for him, we wouldn't have been in the game," Cougars coach Ken Bone said of Kernich-Drew, a sophomore from Australia who scored nine points.
Bone also said, "We all make mistakes" and added Kernich-Drew is "bummed out."
Reserve Carlos Emory scored 20 points for Oregon (21-5, 10-3 Pac-12), which held on to first place in the conference.
Royce Woolridge scored a career-high 36 points for Washington State (11-15, 2-11), losers of six straight.
Woolridge, who made a three-point basket to tie the score with 6.9 seconds left in overtime, missed a half-court attempt as time expired.
"It's the same story for us," Bone said. "We're in the game, guys work hard, we lose."
Washington State built an 18-point lead in the first half, and led 38-27 at halftime.
"We were dead, just standing around with no energy," Oregon coach Dana Altman said of the first half.
Ducks center Tony Woods was called for a flagrant foul for elbowing Motum, WSU's leading scorer, in the head and was ejected from the game with 9:55 left in the first half and Oregon trailing 19-13. Motum was on the floor for several minutes holding his head but returned.