Ducks Hot Start Too Much For OSU To Overcome

EUGENE - Oregon faced a familiar situation late in Sunday's game with in-state rival Oregon State. The Ducks led by two five minutes to go, but rather than fold and drop their third straight, they surged to a 93-83 win at Matthew Knight Arena.

EUGENE - Oregon faced a familiar situation late in Sunday's game with in-state rival Oregon State. The Ducks led by two five minutes to go, but rather than fold and drop their third straight, they surged to a 93-83 win at Matthew Knight Arena.

The Duck made their first seven three-point shots, the last giving them a 19-point lead at the midpoint of the first half. But as has become common place, they struggled to play with the advantage and their lead dwindled.

Hallice Cooke made a pair of free throws to cut the Ducks lead to 72-70 with 5:11 to play. But Oregon responded with stops on 6-of-7 possessions over the next four minutes to pull out their much-needed fourth Pac-12 win.

"We just wanted to find a way to stop them and rebound down the stretch," said forward Mike Moser. "Once we handled business there, we knew were fine."

"This was an important game for us to get back on track," Oregon guard Johnathan Loyd said. "We've been so close. We've had a lot of two point losses. It was just important for us to bounce back and start this run that we're about to get started on."

Oregon has four of their final six games at home, setting themselves up for the late season rally that Loyd says he's confident the team will have.

"We've just been so close. We've been talking about it together, we know how much we're playing for and what this means to us. That's why I say I've got confidence in my guys… that we're going to go on this run," he said following the win.

Moser attributed the hot shooting start to improved ball movement. Oregon had a season-low six assists in the first meeting, but their 17 Sunday was the fifth-best mark of the season. Twelve came in the first half.

"They have so much length, so if you attack off the first pass, it's tough. They're so long. You've got to get them moving off the pass, it just makes it easier to get a clear shot at the basket," Moser said.

Moser, Young and Calliste combined to shoot 10-for-18 from three point range. Eight of those conversions came in the first half.

Young carried the Ducks once again, finishing with 25 points. It was the second game in which he has led the Duck with 25 or more points.

"We haven't been hitting many shots. We had tremendous energy from that. I've seen both teams do it for a long time, that ball goes in and the energy goes up," Oregon coach Dana Altman said.

The Ducks buckled down in practice after two devastating losses in Arizona over the weekend, a fact that encourages their coach.

"After those two two-point losses in Arizona, the guys could've responded in one of two ways. They could've came in and felt sorry for themselves and we wouldn't have gotten anything done," he explained. "But, Tuesday and Wednesday we had really good practices. The guys really busted it."

The response has him agreeing with his senior point guard.

"Right now we're not [a tournament team]. But we can change that. We're going to have plenty of opportunities against people they say are," he said.


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