Oregon advances onto the field of 32 on Sunday

SPOKANE, WASH. – All day long there were upsets or near upsets in the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament, but that was not the case on Friday evening when the No. 1 seed Oregon Ducks demolished the No 16 seed Holy2 Cross, 91-52. Chris Boucher led the way for the Ducks with 20 points.

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The game was about Oregon establishing physical dominance and the Ducks did that early by opening up the lead that was by 18 at halftime and at times in the second half went over the 40-point lead mark.

Really this was the way it was supposed to be. Holy Cross had come into the tournament as the classic underdog, earning a spot by winning the Patriot League Tournament after having only won five conference games all season and sporting a 14.-19 season record. The Ducks on the other hand had outright won the Pac-12 regular season race and last week in Las Vegas had won the Pac-12 Tournament.

The Ducks seemed anxious and ready to go from the very start by coming onto the floor as soon as the previous game between Maryland and South Dakota State had completed and the two teams had cleared the court.

There was certainly something in the air and the game had a home game feel with many Duck fans making the six-hour trip to Spokane from Portland. O the game got underway it was clear the Crusaders were physically no match for the Ducks.

“I thought our energy was pretty good early,” said Oregon’s Dana Altman. “With them have to come clear across the country, I thought we came out and set the tone early and never really let them get into the game.”

Oregon found ways of attacking the basket and getting second chance opportunities. The Ducks outrebounded the Crusaders 44-28, and scored 15 second chance points. The Ducks blocked a total of six shots and scored 52 of the total 91 points in the paint.

“He played 17 minutes and had 20 (points),” guard Casey Benson said of Boucher, the man who was key in Oregon’s attack. “He does a really good job just flying around, being active, bringing a ton of energy on both ends of the floor.”

Boucher had some help also, as Dwayne Benjamin had 12 points, while Dillon Brooks and Elgin Cook both scored 11. Cook also pulled down a game high 13 rebounds.

“We wanted to establish ourselves quickly,” Cook said after the game. “I think we did that pretty well.”

For the game, Oregon shot 55.7 percent from the field while only connecting on 6-of-20 3-point shots and was also 17-of-22 from the free throw line.

Meanwhile, Holy Cross was led by Robert Chapman with 22 points while Malachi Alexander contributed 10. They were the only two Crusaders to score in double figures.

“We’re all disappointed that we didn’t give a better account of ourselves this evening,” admitted Holy Cross headman Bill Carmody. “Oregon had something to do with that. There’s a reason why they’re a No. 1 seed.”

The Crusaders shot 36.4 percent from the field on 20-of-55 shooting including going 6-for-20 in 3-pointers, a staple of their offense. They also shot 6-of-15 in free throws.

For Holy Cross it is the end of its season which included a surprise berth in the NCAA Tournament. For Oregon, it is moving on to the round of 32 on Sunday.

“We just celebrated right after the game, and then we’re just focused and keying in to whoever wins this matchup out of St. Joe’s and Cincinnati,” observed Brooks of what is instore for the Ducks. “That’s out of our hands. Now we got to move on to the next game and really focus and bring the same intensity that we did into this game.”

Official Box Score

Notes:

Attendance for the Oregon-Holy Cross Game was 11,274.


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