The last time Oregon took the floor, we saw them struggle to a 20% performance from the field in the second half and allowed USC to battle back into a game they had no business being in. The Ducks shook any feeling of a repeat performance early as they shot over 60% for the game, nearly 70% from 3 and dominated offensively against the UCLA Bruins. Five Ducks scored in double figures, led by Joseph Young’s 16 as the Ducks never trailed in an 82-64 walkover.
Norman Powell led all scorers with 23 as he shouldered the scoring load for UCLA. Bryce Alford and Kevon Looney also had 15 while no other Bruin scored more than 5.
Oregon had 29 bench points, punctuated by 15 from Dwayne Benjamin who went a perfect 6 of 6 from the floor including a trifecta of three pointers. The Ducks had been a streaky offensive team who can shoot their way into games just as easily as they can shoot their way out of them. When UCLA packed into a 2-3 zone defensively, Oregon shot over the top of them. For the first time this season, it was genuinely effective. The Ducks made 7 of their first 8 three pointers and didn’t miss one until the 38 second mark of the first half. Oregon led by as much as 21 in the first half as they outpaced the Bruins offensively.
“We moved the ball pretty well and we got a lot of open shots. Everybody. We practice shooting every day so we can make open shots, if we move the ball we can make open shots. It- shows us the right way to win” said Benjamin.
Oregon certainly shared the ball well, tallying 16 assists on their baskets. The Ducks were led by Jordan Bell in that statistic with 5. 4 other Ducks had multiple assists.
“The last few games we have been trying to make a play by ourselves but we have been working on it every day in practice, just making plays for everybody else,” said
After the USC game, Dillon Brooks had stated that sometimes the team relaxes when they get a big lead and let teams back in. That was not the case Saturday. UCLA came out of the gates in the second half and quickly cut the Oregon lead to 11 but the Ducks would buckle down and quickly extended that lead back around the twenty mark and maintained that distance for the duration of the game.
“It was the biggest confidence booster out of today. Against Washington, we had a pretty good lead and we let them come back. Going into half time we said we weren’t going to let them do that, with our defense,” said Benjamin.
Oregon will need that confidence as they head into the desert to face off with Arizona and Arizona State once again. Shooting the way they did tonight, they could have beaten anyone. However, they will need a consistent defensive approach if they want vengeance against the Wildcats.
Team Effort, Hot Shooting Baffles Bruins
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