Impressive Rebounding Pushes Oregon Past Concordia

The Ducks of Oregon took on the Cavaliers of Concordia, in a battle in which many people had the term ‘blowout’ on the forefront of their minds.  A game not labeled as crucial, but one that served more purposes than most people realize.  With key matchups looming in the Ducks’ future, playing against Concordia helped the Ducks showcase many of their talents in a game they were very confident in winning, and in fact did win by a score of 94-63.

The first half started out in the Ducks’ favor.  Three minutes in, the Ducks were already up by nine, thanks to incredible ball movement and pressure that helped bring out the sloppy side of the Cavaliers.  As we all know, Joseph Young commands much of the spotlight, but this first half was a wonderful display of teamwork and unity.

Jordan Bel, (No. 1) and Elgin Cook (No. 23)

John Reed

Jordan Bel, (No. 1) and Elgin Cook (No. 23)

The Ducks held the Cavaliers to a measly 10 of 37 (25%) from the field in the first half.  Starting forward Elgin Cook was virtually unstoppable, shooting 5 of 6 and ending the half with 11 points and 4 rebounds.  You might hear “defense wins ball games,” but the deciding factor in this game was rebounding.  The Ducks got some help early on in the first half when 6’10” Concordia Center, Justyn Searle, was sent to the bench with 2 fouls.  The undersized Ducks didn’t look so undersized, finishing the half with 35 rebounds while surrendering only 19.  Score going into halftime: Oregon 47, Concordia 26.

As you might have expected, the second half was much of the same as the beginning was a little bit sloppy for Oregon, but that is to be expected.  The Cavaliers pulled within 13 at one point, but the Ducks realized what needed to be done and turned things around rather quickly.  When Joseph Young decides to take over a game, Joseph Young takes over the game.  Young struggled in the first half shooting, as he went 5 for 12 from the field with 10 points, but the second half was far different for Young, as he went 5 for 6, finishing with a total of 20 points.  Starter Dillon Brooks added 14 points and 11 rebounds, more than respectable numbers.  Jordan Bell and Dwayne Benjamin scored 10 and 11 respectively, off the bench.

The biggest knock on Oregon this season is its lack of experience and age.  With Dwayne Benjamin back from an ankle injury, and solid performances from freshmen starters Casey Benson and Ahmaad Rorie, critics might be realizing that the Ducks are a legit contender once Pac 12 play starts.  Grabbing 60 rebounds against any team, while only giving up 30 is an incredible feat.  Concordia came in ready for battle, but the Ducks dominated as they should have.

When asked post-game about playing as a team, freshman Ahmaad Rorie said, “We just have to play as a team from the start.  It takes us a while sometimes and we can’t let that happen against good teams.”

Head Coach Dana Altman.

John Reed

Head Coach Dana Altman.

Up next for the Ducks, the Rebels of Ole Miss.  You might have heard of the Rebels in stories about the antics of former guard Marshall Henderson.  The fiery Henderson has graduated and moved on, but the Rebels might be better without him this year.  They are off to a 5-1 start thus far, boasting a 75-68 win over then No. 23 Creighton.  The rebels have a match with undefeated TCU before heading out West to take on the Ducks.

Head Coach Dana Altman on preparing for Ole Miss: “Mississippi is going to be a heck of a challenge for us.  They are bigger, stronger, more experienced; and we’re going to have to play a heck of a game.”

Tune in on Sunday at 1 P.M. as the Ducks look to shut down the Ole Miss Rebels.

Top Photo by John Reed

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