EUGENE, OR. – What a season it has been for our Oregon Ducks. Up, down, and all around; it’s been difficult to determine what to think of the team. Recently, the Ducks have taken the initiative in becoming more consistent as they’ve racked multiple wins, making one final push towards the NCAA Tournament.
On Tuesday night, Oregon battled away against the talented Arizona State Sun Devils, fighting on every play to ensure they’d come out with the win. That, in fact, is what they did, as Oregon came out with a high scoring 85-78 win in the penultimate game of the regular season.
The Ducks game out hungrier than we may have seen them all year, as they started off with an incredible 15-2 run making the Sun Devils rethink their strategy for a second.
Demyean Dotson, who’s had a very consistent season, started off very hot for the Ducks as he dropped eight points in the half, giving the Ducks a lot of confidence and taking away some pressure from the usual scorers such as Mike Moser and Joseph Young.
Big man Waverly Austin, who hasn’t been much of a factor this season, had a surprising eight rebounds just in the first half, giving the Ducks opportunities to run out and score on the fast break. On the other side, the Duck-Killer Jordan Bachynski had a solid start for Arizona State with four points and six rebounds. Thankfully he didn’t go off like their previous meeting — thanks to Austin’s exceptional first half play.
Oregon shot a solid 44% from the field, while the Sun Devils shot a poor 30%, mostly thanks to the Ducks’ aggressive defense. Oregon allowed Arizona State to come back throughout the half, as the halftime score was 33-25, but the Ducks’ energy and capability to pay attention to detail were there throughout the entire game, which allowed the Ducks to pull this one out.
The Ducks came out of halftime making sure everyone got theirs, as many of the starters began to turn it up on offense, allowing them to finish off the Sun Devils.
Mike Moser has been an absolute beast recently, playing much more freely, simply letting the game come to him. He led the Ducks with 22 points, but put up an incredible 17 rebounds. It’s safe to say the paint is his, and if anyone thinks otherwise, they’re very very confused.
Oregon moved the ball around well, getting solid shots off in their beautifully executed offense. Demyean Dotson continued his excellent scoring output with 15 points. Let’s not forget about Jason Calliste, as he chipped in 16 points of his own. Overall, this was the Ducks’ night, and we couldn’t have asked for anything more.
With the Ducks’ final game of the season on Saturday against the Arizona Wildcats, Oregon will look to build on their momentum and do what few teams have done this season by taking out Arizona at the Ducks’ house. With exceptional play out of Mike Moser, Joseph Young and Jason Calliste, Oregon has a good shot of giving Arizona some trouble, just as they did in their previous meeting.
Top photo by Craig Strobeck