Eugene, OR – The Oregon Ducks (17-8, 5-8 Pac-12) returned to action this evening to face a Washington State (9-17, 2-12 Pac-12) team that had lost five games in a row and nine of their last ten. The Cougars did not have a road win in the conference yet this season. Washington State’s only chance to come out on top in this game was to be very deliberate on offense and try to keep the score of the game in the 50’s or 60’s.
Oregon, helped by intense second-half defensive pressure, turned the game around and topped the Huskies 67-53 behind 21 points from Mike Moser. DaVonte Lacy led the Cougars with 19 points.
The Cougars were successful in their game plan early as they led 10-8 after ten minutes of the first half and 17-10 at the seven-minute mark. Moser then hit two three-pointers and Johnathan Loyd one in a 9-2 spurt to tie the game at 19. Helped by a four-point play by Lacy, Washington State was able to regain control of the game and closed the half with a 31-24 advantage. D.J. Shelton led the Cougars at the half with 12 points and eight rebounds. Both teams shot well from long-distance with Oregon (4-of-8) and Washington State (4-of-9). Washington State had a +10 edge in rebounding with Shelton’s eight boards matching the entire Oregon total.
Oregon went into a full-court trap at the start of the second half to try to speed things up and regain momentum. It worked as they came up with two steals and five quick points from Moser to cut the lead to two. Moser followed with two more three’s, giving him four in the first two minutes of the half, to put Oregon in front 35-34. Jason Calliste started the second half and provided defensive pressure and helped force the Cougars into additional turnovers (17 turnovers in the game). Calliste (12 points) also provided some timely shooting, hitting a three to give Oregon a 44-39 lead midway through the half. Back-to-back three-pointers from Joseph Young (18 points) pushed Oregon to a 12-point lead at the 4:43 mark and sealed the game for the Ducks.
Oregon’s defensive pressure did the trick and turned the game around in the win. It was a must win for the Ducks before they head to Los Angeles next week for road games against USC and UCLA. Oregon’s defense came up with ten steals (eight more than the Cougars) and forced the Cougars into eight more turnovers than Oregon. That negated a +11 rebounding edge for Washington State. Oregon shot very well from deep, going 11-of-20 on three-pointers.
Moser had one of his more effective games this season, scoring 21 points on 8-of-13 FG including 5-of-7 on three-pointers. He added eight rebounds and four blocked shots to his line. Coming off a solid 20-point game against Washington, Moser is rounding into form for the final part of the season. Two years ago at UNLV, Moser was looked at as a potential NBA Draft pick. He had an injury-filled year last season and while he’s shown flashes of the player he was, it doesn’t seem that he’s recovered his ability of two years ago. While his athleticism and lift still seem to not be at his prior level he has started to show some of his ability. We’ll see if he can consistently show that ability over the remainder of his senior season.
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