Oregon tried its hardest to give the game away, but the Ducks managed to do the thing you’re supposed to in March — survive and advance.

After blowing what was a 19-point first-half lead, Oregon was able to hold off the red-hot Washington State Cougars and win 75-70 on Thursday to advance to the semifinal round of the Pac-12 Tournament. The Cougars had won seven straight, and they roared back from a massive hole to open the game, but Oregon made enough plays late to seal the deal.

One of them, though, may have come at a cost.

With the clock ticking under a minute to play and the Ducks clinging to a two-point lead, Wazzu’s Justin Powell drove right for the tying bucket. N’Faly Dante met him at the rim, emphatically swatting his shot away.

As Dante came down, his right ankle caught Powell’s foot and twisted awkwardly. Dante immediately fell to the court and appeared to be in a good deal of pain.

He would need to be helped off the floor.

That situation becomes a major one as the Ducks prepare now to face No. 1 seed UCLA in the Pac-12 Tournament semis on Friday. Dante posted 16 points, 11 rebounds, a block, and a steal in his 30 minutes on Thursday. He’s the Ducks’ leading scorer on the season, with 13.5 a game, and his presence inside is hugely important on both ends of the floor.

Against UCLA, the Ducks will need all hands on deck.

The good news is that Dante told the Pac-12 postgame show panel after the game he was OK and just twisted his ankle. He left the floor after without any noticeable limp.

It took Oregon a bit to settle in on Thursday, but Kel’el Ware and Keeshawn Barthelemy took the floor and almost immediately ignited a huge run for the Ducks.

Ware splashed a triple and then, a little over a minute later, Barthelemy knocked in his own 3 off the break.

That was the start of what became a 26-6 run over the span of 10 minutes that saw the Ducks take a commanding 19-point lead. Barthelemy got an and-one to go, Dante and Jermaine Couisnard pummeled the Cougars inside near the basket, and Oregon took it to the Cougs.

Washington State was able to weather the storm, though, and closed the final 3:05 on a 10-0 run to get within eight at the break.

They then scored seven of the first 10 points in the second half to get the game back to neck-and-neck, and Oregon wasn’t able to create more than eight points of separation the rest of the way.

Back-to-back trips to the free throw line gave Wazzu a three-point lead with 4:15 to play. A pair of Barthelemy jumpers twice tied things up as Wazzu tried to surge ahead in the final minutes.

With 1:34 to play, Dante got loose inside for a go-ahead bucket that put the Ducks up by two. His block with 31 seconds left led to a Barthelemy free throw to put the Ducks up three.

Rivaldo Soares knocked down a pair of free throws with six seconds remaining to put the game out of reach.

Barthelemy finished with 17 points on 6-of-12 shooting and 3-of-6 from deep. That was matched by 17 points from Couisnard, who went 8-for-10 at the foul line. Dante was the only other Duck to reach double-figures scoring.

Washington State was led by 19 points from TJ Bamba. Powell added 15 points, Mouhamed Gueye pitched in 14, and Andrej Jakimovski supplied 10.

The Ducks (19-13) will move on to face UCLA on Friday at 6 p.m. PT on the Pac-12 Network. A chance still exists for Oregon to play its way into the NCAA Tournament, but it’ll need a win over the Bruins to keep that hope alive.