Young Gets 2K as Ducks Topple Huskies 78-74

It took a while at the beginning of the first and second half for Joe Young to find his shooting spots, but when he did, he lit the nets up for 32 points on 12-of-21 shooting including 4-for-9 in 3-point shooting as the Oregon Ducks (16-7, 5-4) defeated the Washington Huskies (14-8, 3-7) by a score of 78-76.

(PHOTO) Oregon Ducks guard Joseph Young (middle) scores a layup while being defended by Washington Huskies forward Shawn Kemp Jr. (right) during the second half of the game at Matthew Knight Arena. The Ducks won 78-74. Credit: Godofredo Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Joseph Young played the entire game as the Ducks found some revenge for an earlier 85-77 loss to the Huskies in Seattle, but tonight the game was all in Young’s hands. While finding his touch took a few minutes, Young cruised solidly in the second half doing the lion’s share of the damage, scoring 17 points, including a floating jumper at with 24 seconds left in the contest that proved to be the last score of the game.

"We always wait for the last possession,” said Head Coach Dana Altman of the few seconds of the game. “We just have to guard better, that's obvious to everybody. If you look at our seven losses they've all been defensive related, we're giving up a lot of points. Today our shooting percentage was good and we hit free throws and everything was good on the offensive end, but defensively they shot 56 percent and you can't do that, not in February.”

Elgin Cook added 16 and while the pair of Cook and Young were the only Ducks scoring in double-figures, there was plenty of help for the rest of the squad. Jordan Bell made a terrific play at the end of the game when he stole the ball with five seconds left on the clock, then immediately called time out, allowing the Ducks to refocus on what they wanted to do in the waning moments of the game.

"We've made progress,” said Altman of the defensive effort against Washington. “At least now we know when we make mistakes. Earlier I don't even think we knew, so at least we know a little bit now. I think we're a little bit stuck in the mud. People have driven it at us and we haven't stopped it. We have to get some confidence in practice."

Young surpassed the 2,000 point mark against the Huskies and Altman admitted that Young may have had it easier in 2013 because the experience on the floor that surrounded Young. This year, the team has a lot of underclassmen, Young however wasn’t really aware of the achievement but focused on the team instead.

“I didn't know,” said Young. “I wasn’t worried about it. The main focus is getting the win and celebrating with the team at the end. We pulled it out with a good defensive play at the end and we just have to build from there.” Washington was led by Nigel Williams-Goss with 19 while Andrew Andrews had 14 and Shawn Kemp, Jr., put in 12 and Darin Johnson contributed 11.

Next up is the return of Ernie Kent with the much improved Washington State Cougars. Tipoff for the WSU game is at 4 p.m. on Sunday afternoon. The game will be carried live by the Pac-12 Networks.

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