EUGENE,OR. – Earlier this season, the Ducks lost to the Beavers in Gill Coliseum, Corvallis. Oregon did not forget the sour taste of defeat against those damn Beavers, and came out this past Sunday with a vengeance. With Oregon’s play being exceptionally great against very good teams the past few games, going against a team lower in the standings, such as Oregon State, should have been a breeze.
And, that it was — for the first ten minutes, anyway – as the Ducks came out fast to build a 16-point lead. But in the final 30 minutes, they had to weather a torrid comeback by the Beavs, to come out with a much-needed win, 93-83.
Oregon came out with a bang in the first half, hitting seemingly every shot that they threw up. The Ducks were able to push the ball down the floor off of Oregon State misses, and execute their transition play that they’ve missed clicking on for the majority of the second half of the season.
It was simply the Ducks’ day, and they took advantage of every shot opportunity, as they shot 9-13 (69.2%) from beyond the arc. Oregon took a huge lead against the Beavers early in the half, but Oregon State was able to recover fairly quickly, as their deficit was cut to 10 at half, with a score of 45-35.
Oregon’s defense let up a little as they must have felt they could simply outscore their way to victory. Mike Moser, Joseph Young, and Jason Calliste all carried the team throughout the first half with 10, 11, and 9 points respectively.
There was no stopping them. When one person got hot, Oregon State would defend that person tightly, but then another Duck would get hot. The only way Oregon State had a chance at coming back in this one was to stop the Ducks’ penetration and close out on the threes — which they did, to gnaw their way back into it. Luckily, the Beavers didn’t totally adjust to all of Oregon’s strengths in the second half.
Oregon State shot a great 53% in the first half, and continued their solid shooting in the second half. What saved the Ducks in the second half was the cushion their great three point shooting in the first half.
Both the Beavers and the Ducks scored 48 points in the second half, as they battled point for point. Oregon State, however, pared the deficit to two, at which point the Ducks may have felt another potential loss in the making.
But Young and Calliste took it upon themselves to make sure that this one wasn’t going to slip away, as they ran the offense with incredible efficiency and carried the Ducks to the win!
Five Ducks went for double-digit scoring, as Young led the way once again with 25. Young recently has been shooting the ball incredibly well, and truly making an effort to ensure his team is in every game.
Sunday’s game wasn’t a great example of what the Ducks want out of their squad defensively, but offensively things are looking good.
Top photo by Don Olson