A Team Victory

For the last few years the Oregon men's basketball team has always had its stars. From Freddie Jones to Luke Ridnour and Luke Jackson, the Ducks have had guys that could do it all themselves. However, in Coach Ernie Kent's system, the team is the focus and in today's game at Marshall it was the team that won the game.

In the 89-69 win, no Duck played over 31 minutes and nine players played over 10 minutes. If Bryce Taylor wasn't knocking down treys, Maarty Leunen was grabbing one of his five boards or Ian Crosswhite was scoring one of his 13 points. And it wasn't just those three; the entire squad contributed.

"It was a team victory," Kent told OSN.

In the early going, Taylor was red hot. He hit his first three long balls and helped the Ducks (3-0) out to a 14-3 lead with just under 16:00 left in the first half. The freshman finished the day with 18 points in just 22 minutes. He was 4-6 from long range and 6-9 from the field overall.

"People got a chance to see what a fantastic basketball player he is," Kent told OSN about Taylor.

Other Webfoots were knocking down their shots too though. Oregon finished the game 34-56 from the floor, a staggering 61 percent mark. They were slightly better from beyond the arc going 13-21 for 62 percent.

One of those guys making his shots was sophomore leader Aaron Brooks. He found a way to get to the hole and drill long range shots. Brooks finished with 16 points and went 4-6 from three.

While the Ducks were shooting so well and finding a lot of openings in the defense, the Marshall Thundering Herd (1-2) couldn't do a thing on offense. The Duck defense put the clamps on them and held the Herd to 39 percent on their field goals. There always seemed to be a hand in the face of a shooter and nobody came off of a screen or a cut open for a pass or shot.

"Defensively, we were just flawless for another game," Kent told OSN.

Oregon's depth allowed them to play such solid defense. If one player was tired or made a mistake, he was quickly pulled out and somebody else went in and took over. Oregon's deep bench kept the tempo and sense of urgency up when the starters were out of the game.

"Our strength is in our numbers," Bryce Taylor told OSN.

The bench and the starters kept the game out of reach for Marshall through most of the contest. However, the Herd made a run at the game, cutting Oregon's lead to eight points after a LaVar Carter bucket made the score 49-41 with 13:03 to go.

Oregon came right back and an Aaron Brooks three pointer and a Malik Hairston ‘and one' later, the Ducks were back up by 14 and the game was more or less over.

Moments later, Chamberlain Oguchi came in and went on a bit of a tear. The freshman scored 11 points in 12 minutes and went 3-5 from long range.

Other than 18 turnovers, 13 of which were in the first half, Kent was pleased with his team's performance on their first ever trip to the state of West Virginia.

"There's nothing I can complain about," he told OSN. "People back in Eugene should be proud of this team to come on the road and play this well."

Next up for the Ducks is the Papé Jam in Portland, Ore. against Vanderbilt. That game will tip-off at 4:00 after the Oregon women play host to George Washington at 1:30.

The women are 4-0 after winning the Long Island University Turkey Classic today. Oregon's Catherine Kraayeveld was named the tournament's MVP and to the all tournament team along with fellow Duck Chelsea Wagner.

Both the men and the women will face tough opponents next Saturday, but Coach Kent is very happy about his team right now.

"You've just got a bunch of young guys playing fantastic basketball," he told OSN.

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