Oregon is now a lock for the NCAA Tournament regardless of their performance in Las Vegas. Oregon State is playing to try to get in the mix for any post-season tournament.
The Ducks got off to a lackluster start as the Beavers scored the first nine points of the game. Early on, the Beavers were putting forth the better effort. After Oregon State took a 15-5 lead the Ducks ran off 12 straight points to take a 17-15 lead. They extended the lead to nine (29-20) on a Mike Moser three-pointer. The Beavers ended the half strongly though, and Hallice Cooke’s lay-up closed Oregon’s lead to 41-40 at halftime.
Roberto Nelson led all scorers at the half with 13 points. Both teams made 14 field goals in the half but the Ducks attempted 13 additional shots, mostly due to Oregon State committing seven more turnovers (10 vs. 3) than Oregon.
The first part of the second half was close as Oregon State took a 57-54 lead on an Angus Brandt three-pointer. Then Oregon went on a nine-point run, helped by a three-pointer by Moser that gave them the lead and a drive and lay-in by Joseph Young that capped the run and gave the Ducks a 63-57 lead at the 11:27 mark. Two more baskets by Young raised the Duck lead to ten (69-59) with 9:04 left. Oregon then had control of the game and weren’t seriously challenged the rest of the way as they pulled away to the 88-74 victory.
Young led the Ducks with 19 points on an efficient 8-of-11 shooting while his backcourt mate Jason Calliste added 17 on 4-of-5 from the field (3-of-3 3PT) and 6-of-6 FT’s. Dominic Artis had his most effective game of the season scoring ten points, making both his three-pointers and adding six assists in 23 minutes of action. Brandt led the Beavers with 20 points. Oregon shot an excellent 10-of-16 on three-pointers and only committed five turnovers (with 15 assists) vs. 15 for the Beavers (with only seven assists). Rebounding was even.
The difference in this game and for much of the year between the two teams is that Oregon’s offensive execution is much more efficient. They take better shots while the Beavers tend to force it at times. Oregon State plays well in spurts but in many of their games they cannot maintain their offensive consistency through an entire game. Invariably they will start to take forced shots, commit turnovers or miss key free throws. Oregon has efficient scorers (Young) and shooters (Calliste and Moser). When they exhibit decent defense and effort on the boards they tend to stay in the game and give themselves a good chance to win, regardless of the opponent.
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