Ducks Overwhelm UW

SEATTLE - Malcolm Armstead, Michael Dunigan and Tajuan Porter combined for 57 points, and the Oregon Ducks took it to Washington Saturday afternoon at Bank of America Arena, beating the hometown Huskies 90-79, and in the process breaking their home winning streak at 18 games.

With the 11-point win, it was the Ducks (10-4, 2-0) that played like the ranked team and not Washington (10-3, 1-1), completing an impressive road trip up north. They defeated Washington State in double overtime on Thursday.

Although UW played well in the first-half, their second-half struggles continued as they couldn't slow down the guard play of the Oregon, who made clutch shots to keep the Huskies at bay

Armstead and Porter played well, with 19 and 18 points between the two respectively. Armstead also had six assists and three steals.

The one constant throughout the game for the Ducks was the big inside presence of Dunigan. He finished with 20 points on 7 of 10 shooting. He also had 14 rebounds.

In fact, as a team Oregon shot 53 percent from the field. They also shot 41 percent from three.

For Washington, Isaiah Thomas led all scores in the game with 25 points on 6 of 17 shooting. He also had five rebounds. Senior captain Quincy Pondexter also contributed to the losing cause with 16 points, six rebounds and two blocks on 6 of 12 shooting from the floor. Venoy Overton was the other UW player to score in double-figures, with 14 points.

Although the effort was there in the early going, Pondexter said Oregon was just the better team today.

"Oregon outplayed us," Pondexter said somberly. "We didn't come with the same heart, passion and desire that they had. We had a little lapse there in the first-half where we committed several turnovers in a row. We had a momentum going and from that point on they got a little more confident. They tied up the game in that time period and from that point on they just wanted it more than us."

It was a helper-skelter start for both teams, but coming up big in the early going was Scott Suggs, who with 11:45 left in the first-half already had six points off of two early three-pointers to give UW a 24-18 lead.

Oregon grabbed their first lead of the game at the 5:13 mark when LeKendric Longmire stole the ball at mid-court from Overton and scored on a fast-break lay-up to make it 32-31 Ducks.

The Ducks expanded their lead to 38-33 with 3:23 left in the half as they continued to disrupt the passing lanes on defense and get easy baskets in transition. UW had five turnovers at this point.

With just 48 seconds left in the half Thomas came free off a back-door cut for an easy two to go up 41-40. The Ducks star point guard Porter brought the ball back down the court and despite a shaking BoA, found Jeremy Jacob with 20 seconds left to score two on a jumper. It put the Ducks back up by one as the teams went their respective locker rooms.

In the first-half, Isaiah Thomas was dead-on from the free-throw line shooting 8 of 8, but was only 2 of 7 from the field. As a team, the Huskies shot 50 percent from the floor and were 3-9 from beyond the arc. They also had six turnovers, 17 boards and seven assists.

The green and yellow, on the other hand, also shot 50 percent from the floor and were 4-12 from three. Although they had less rebounds (15), they also had fewer turnovers (four).

UW Head Coach Lorenzo Romar said it wasn't the amount of turnovers by Washington that mattered; it was when they came in the game.

"Well you look at the final stat sheet and we only committed nine turnovers and if you didn't watch the game you would think that was great and we did a great job, the only problem was over half we committed in maybe the most pivotal stretch in the game," Romar said.

"We were playing pretty good and we turned the ball over and they got back into it. They gained a lot of confidence. Coming out into the second-half, I just thought their guards were tremendous. Armstead and Tajuan Porter did a tremendous job of controlling the tempo and they only had eight turnovers themselves. A lot of it had to do with those guards handling the ball the entire time."

Oregon shot out of the gate in the second-half and immediately scored on their first four possessions. By the 17:02 mark they had already run out to a 50-42 lead. With 11:40 left in the game, the Ducks had built their lead to double-digits and was up 63-53 after a Teondre Williams 3-pointer from the corner.

UW slowly began to fall apart as Oregon could do no wrong. Every shot seemed to fall no matter the difficulty and they were effective from the charity stripe. Washington, on the other hand, couldn't buy a basket and it felt like every 50/50 ball bounced the other way. The largest lead of the night came with 6:42 left in the game when Oregon was up by 15.

Up next for UW is a game in the desert on Friday Jan. 8, when the Huskies take on Arizona State (10-4, 0-1) at 7:30 p.m.
Statistics:
Points: Thomas 25, Pondexter 16, Overton 14, Suggs 6, Gant 5, Gaddy 5, Breshers 5, Holiday 2, Bryan-Amaning 1
Rebounds: Pondexter 6, Thomas 5, Holiday 5, TEAM 5, Bryan-Amaning 3, Gant 3, Breshers 3, Overton 1
Assists: Gaddy 4, Overton 2, Bryan-Amaning 1, Pondexter 1
Steals: Thomas 2, Pondexter 1
Blocks: Pondexter 2, Holiday 1


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