Eugene, OR – Oregon and Oregon State faced each other Sunday afternoon in the 341st edition of the Civil War, the most-played rivalry in college basketball. Both teams came into the game after being swept on the road by the Arizona schools last weekend. Oregon (3-8 Pac-12) needs to finish the Pac-12 season strongly to have any chance of an NCAA tournament bid. Oregon State (5-6 Pac-12) would need to get to .500 in the conference to have a decent NCAA chance. With each team only having one more road trip after this game, a win today would help get them going in the right direction.
It was the Ducks that came out on fire. They made their first seven three-point attempts in taking a 31-12 lead. When Waverly Austin stepped out and canned a 16-footer for a 33-16 lead it looked like Oregon’s day. The Beavers then fought back and narrowed the deficit to 45-35 at the half. Oregon was 9-of-13 on three-pointers led by Mike Moser’s 3-of-3, Joseph Young’s 2-of-2 and 3-of-4 from Jason Calliste. The Ducks battled the bigger Beavers evenly on the boards in the first half.
Oregon State came out in the second half strongly and Oregon started off the half shooting 1-of-5 from three. The Beavers, led by Eric Moreland (17 points, 10 rebounds) and Roberto Nelson (18 points) hit 11 of their first 18 shots of the half, narrowing Oregon’s lead to 63-61 with 8:24 remaining. Young then countered for Oregon with a traditional three-point play followed by an 18-footer to put Oregon back in front by seven.
Oregon State used their size to start dominating the offensive boards in the second half, particularly on Moreland’s efforts. Calliste hit a big three-pointer to put the Ducks back up 79-70. Hallice Cooke (16 points) followed with a three for the Beavers to cut the lead back to six with 2:34 remaining. The Beavers couldn’t get any closer as Oregon coasted late to the 93-83 win in front of 10,013 fans. Young led the Ducks with 25 points and received help from Moser (15) and Calliste (14).
Oregon was at their best his season in their 13-0 run prior to the Pac-12 season. Johnathan Loyd was playing very well at point. When he started sharing time with Dominic Artis, Loyd’s game started to suffer and the offensive continuity took a step back. It looks like Coach Altman is now recommitted to Loyd as a starter for the rest of the year. In this game Loyd played 26 minutes, contributed 11 points and five assists and helped the Ducks score 93 points in a very efficient offensive performance. It was Oregon’s most points since the 100-91 loss to Colorado on January 5th.
Oregon is a guard dominated team this season. When the Ducks hit their outside shots and give at least a decent effort on the boards, as they did in the first half they are tough to beat. When their outside shots aren’t falling they are likely to lose. They made enough shots in this game to earn a much needed win.
Both teams will wind up the season with the Washington schools at home this week, then they are off to Los Angeles to face UCLA and USC and head back home to finish the conference season against the Arizona schools. Sweeping the Washington schools at home will be imperative for both teams as potential losses to UCLA and Arizona might derail any NCAA tournament hopes.