At the Moda Center in Portland, they have “hustle boards” high above the court on both sides of the arena. These statistic boards highlight the little things in a game that often lead to victory but do not get the press that points and assists typically receive.
If Matthew Knight Arena had hustle boards they would have been decidedly in Oregon’s favor. Throughout the game, the Ducks came up with loose balls, blocked shots and second chance points as they came away winners against the Toledo Rockets, 78-68. Joseph Young led the way with 24 points, both Elgin Cook and Dwayne Benjamin contributed double doubles tallying 13 and 11 points respectively and both having 12 rebounds.
“I thought we played really hard. I thought our effort was good. This is a good team that we beat and they are going to win a lot of games this year. It’s going to be a big win for us when we look back. I’m really proud of the guys,” said Coach Dana Altman.
Some late alley oop dunks and fast breaks will elevate the Ducks shooting percentage above 40%, but they did not shoot the ball particularly well. Throughout the game, Oregon found ways to get to the free throw line and made the Rockets pay. Oregon shot 20-24 from the charity stripe and gave the Ducks an advantage down the stretch and ultimately aided them in winning the game.
Toledo came out of the gate, shooting well from three, opening the game 5 of 6 from behind the arc, but Oregon’s defense clamped down on the shooters and forced the Rockets to finish at 11 for 27 from three. Julius Young led the scoring attack for the Rockets but he was unable to score from behind the arc in the second half.
The lead went back and forth throughout the first half but Joseph Young hit a three pointer in the last minute of the first half and Oregon never trailed from that point on and led by as much as 12 down the stretch.
The Ducks have a travel day and one day to practice before they play Michigan in the Barclay’s Center in Brooklyn. The Ducks’ opponents continue to ramp up as they move through the first part of their schedule. Oregon and Michigan play the game very similarly and if it comes down to a gritty performance, Oregon stands a good chance of coming out on top against the Wolverines.
Ducks outhustle Rockets
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