Jalil Abdul Bassit scored seven points in overtime on his way to a seaosn high 20 points for the Ducks, who narrowly escaped with a victory against UCSB Cal Santa Barbara) last night at Matthew Knight. Joseph Young added a team high 25, leading the Ducks in scoring, assists (4) and rebounds (11).Young’s 25 points were his highest mark since scoring 32 in the Ducks’ season opener against Coppin State.
Young had a chance to seal the game for the Ducks with two seconds left when he went to the line with Oregon down 71-70. Young, leading the Pac-12 at 95.6% from the stripe, hit the first to tie the game but saw an uncharacteristic miss on the second shot that UCSB boarded to send the game to overtime.
All together, the Ducks out-rebounded and out-assisted the Gauchos, which eventually led to UCSB’s demise. Oregon’s defense held strong too, with Jordan Bell and Dillon Brooks combining for six blocks.
The win pushed the Ducks to a 9-3 record, good for fifth best in the Pac-12. Oregon will be looking to make another deep run in the NCAA Tournament this year, and with Young leading the way that shouldn’t be an unreasonable expectation. The Ducks’ success this year also might come as a surprise to many, considering the Ducks only had four returning players this season. Freshmen Brooks, Ahmaad Rorie, Casey Benson, and Bell have all played huge roles for the Ducks as they’ve look to build off of their recent success.
Next the Ducks played UC Irvine on Dec. 29th, one final tune-up before Pac-12 play begins. After UCI, the Ducks will play Oregon State at home, followed by third ranked Arizona.
Top photo from Donald Alarie