In what was a fairly even-set game, the Oregon Ducks men’s basketball team are coming home with a loss tonight against the Washington Huskies. Although there was a lot of back and forth throughout the night when it came to the lead, overall the Ducks were down.
In the grand scheme of things, there were two different games played on that court tonight. One game in the first half and one game in the second half. This is how it broke down, the first half game wasn’t a game between Oregon and the Washington, it was a game between the Huskies 7 foot Sophomore, Robert Upshaw, and Oregon’s 6-foot-9-inch Freshman, Jordan Bell. This was a game for the big boys… literally.
Oregon’s Jordan Bell is aggressive and ruthless in the post, especially when there’s a shot approaching the opponent’s basket that he can swat out of the way. Unfortunately, Robert Upshaw also plays a very similar, aggressive style defense. Before this game Upshaw had 72 blocks so far this season and is ranked No. 1 in the nation for blocks. Bell had 60 blocks and is ranked No. 3 in the nation for blocks. Both players are very talented under the basket and valuable assets for their teams. Bell came out on fire tonight and had four of the first six points for the Ducks and jammed multiple dunks to keep the energy up for Dana Altman’s fast pace tempo.
The Ducks got their first lead when Bell dunked to bring the score to 16-17, Ducks. After that Oregon went on a beautiful run to secure the lead before half time, 32-42 Ducks. By the end of the game Bell played 27 minutes, scored eight points, had nine rebounds and three assists.
Coming back out on the court, the game changed. The match-ups changed from a very physical first half to a more up-tempo, quick paced second half. Only a few minutes into the second the Huskies regained a lead and ran with it. While normally quick to start a second half, team MVP Joe Young wasn’t on and Oregon began to struggle to keep up with Washington’s scoring. With 9:30 left in the game the score was tied at 59 and the Ducks didn’t score a point for three straight minutes while the Huskies went on an 11-point run.
As the clock was winding down the Ducks tried to foul, drive hard to the basket or pull up for a three but the Huskies were on a roll, offensively and defensively. With 33 seconds left in the game the score was 77-83 when Joe Young took a three-point shot from the top of the key with the Huskies pressuring him defensively. After that there wasn’t much else the Ducks could do.
Jordan Bell was the real MVP of tonight’s game but the first half was when he truly shined. In the second half there was a variety of players that contributed with clutch three-pointers and pull-up jump shots but the player that truly did the most was Dwayne Benjamin. Benjamin not only was absolutely unstoppable from the outside with three pointers, but also dropped a couple hard dunks in an attempt to move momentum in favor of Oregon, to no avail.
Final score, 77-85 Huskies.
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