Ducks Overwhelm Beavers, 70-49

Eugene, Ore. -- The Oregon Ducks (23-7, 11-7) polished off the Oregon State Beavers (11-20, 3-15) quickly in the latest edition of the Civil War with a 70-49 win on McArthur Court. Oregon jumped out to an early lead and played furious defense to hold the Beavers to only 17 points and a miserable 1-for-10 3-point effort in the first 20 minutes. Bryce Taylor's 22 points led Oregon.

(PHOTO) Oregon's Bryce Taylor (4) lays in two of his game high 22 points against Oregon State. (Photo by Chris Wilson)

Three Ducks saw the court for the last time today. All three, Adrian Stelly, Adam Zahn and Aaron Brooks started the contest and it was an energized effort. Oregon came out firing on all cylinders hitting a volume of 3-pointers with Maarty Leunen and Bryce Taylor feeling the touch. The Ducks have obviously bounced back from a spell in to doldrums two weeks ago and by beating the Beavers are now on a 3-game win streak.

"Three games ago I talked about how we had to come back into this building and get reenergized," said Oregon Head Coach Ernie Kent. "This crowd was a big factor in how we did that."

Oregon went into halftime leading 33-17 and the game had all the ear markings of a blow out. The Beavers, while having plenty of opportunities could not convert on open shots. However, the Ducks played a part in where the Beavers were finding their shots and for the most part OSU simply could not get the shot exact shots they wanted. It also didn't help that the Beavers turned the ball over 13 times with far too many unforced errors.

"Overall I think we played well," remarked OSU's John Jay. "Oregon's offensive power is such that we know we can't just outscore them. We have to minimize the amount of mistakes we have and do a lot of little things that matter."

For the game the Ducks shot 45.5 percent on 25-of-55 shooting including 9-for-23 in 3-point shooting. In the first half Oregon shot 52.2 percent on 12-of-23 shooting. OSU struggled in shooting only 28.6 percent on 8-of-28 shooting in the first half but were a bit better in the second 20 minutes shooting 11-for-22 and ended up shooting 38 percent for the game.

Some of Oregon's number might be a bit eschewed as Tajuan Porter attempted to set the Pac-10 Freshman 3-point shooting record. Porter tied Jason Kapono's record of 82 but failed to break the record with five more attempts. Kent indicated that he thought it was unfortunate that the freshman 3-point record was announced over the public address system as it may have put a little undo pressure on Porter. After missing five 3-pointers (in going for the record) Kent told Porter it was enough for his to settle with tying Kapono and time to move forward.

Taylor's game high 22 came on 8-of-16 shooting (2-of-4 in 3's) plus 4-for-4 in free throw shooting. Taylor looked as aggressive as he has all season in attacking the basket.

"I just watched film and saw that after three or four drive-kicks, Oregon State's defense spreads out," admitted Taylor of his effort. "So I knew I could get in there and get some points. Each game we're going to have a different leader in points, and today I stepped up to that role."

Taylor's view that someone different always steps up for the Ducks is shared by Jay who thinks this year's Duck squad could be the most unselfish in Ernie Kent's tenure at Oregon.

"What makes Oregon special, is they are so unselfish," observed Jay. "They are the most unselfish team as far as moving the ball that Ernie (Kent) has had."

Aaron Brooks closed the books on his time on Mac Court by chipping 18 points. Maarty Leunen finished with 14 points and 10 rebounds. Only one Beaver scored in double figures. Marcel Jones had 13 in a losing effort.

Next up is the Pac-10 Tourney. Oregon faces Arizona next Thursday and Oregon maybe hitting its high points at the right time.

"We are probably playing at our peak right now heading into the Pac-10 Tournament, but we still have work to do," said Kent. "This will be a great match up with Arizona coming up and our goal is to play deep into the tournament and make the championship game."

The season ender was a sweet one for Kent. During halftime his son Jordan was introduced to the crowd as he took court with the Kent family and was acknowledge for his contributions to Duck basketball, track and football. Jordan Kent passed up his final year of basketball eligibility to concentrate on the NFL combine and to prepare for a career in professional football. Kent also erased many of the ghosts of two frustrating seasons and now finds his team back in contention for winning the Pac-10 and is already ensured of an appearance in the NCAA Tourney.

The Ducks finished the regular season tied with third in the Pac-10 with Arizona and USC and will hold the No. 4 spot in the Pac-10 Tourney.

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