Eugene, OR – The Oregon Ducks faced in-state and long-time rival, Oregon State. After an incredible Elite Eight Tourney run in the 2020-2021 season, the Beavers have struggled to hold leads and finish out games throughout this current season. A win could generate some momentum down the stretch. The Ducks on the other hand, have won six of their last seven games, and are looking to keep their names in the running for an At-Large bid for the upcoming NCAA tourney. Oregon had four players who scored in double figures and as a team shot 55 percent from the field, while holding the Beavers to just 30 percent. Oregon’s first half dominance was enough to roll to a 78-56 win and sweep the season series against the Beavers.
Early in the first half, Oregon took the lead at 13-12 with a Will Richardson 3-pointer with 12 minutes remaining. This was part of an 8-0 run that got the crowd of 10,712 in Matthew Knight Arena on their feet. The 6-5 combo guard, when aggressive from start to finish, makes a huge difference impacting the games the Ducks have won this season. He scored 15 points on 6-of-11 from the field. He again displayed his sharp shooting from the 3-point line, connecting on 3-of-5 attempts, which brings his percentage to nearly 47 percent on the season. He added two rebounds, two assists and two steals.
Moments later in the opening half, after the Ducks surrendered the lead to the Beavers, they went on a 16-3 scoring run, led by senior Jacob Young. The 6-3 guard gets downhill fast and constantly placed pressure on the Beaver defense in transition. Young at times can be erratic with the ball, but has an unbelievable change of pace on his handle, making it difficult for defenders to contain him. He had a game high 17 points (6-of-10 FG), dished out four assists (four turnovers) and collected four rebounds. The scoring run was capped off with a tip-in by junior N’Faly Dante, who had his best performance this season. He has battled injuries in his first two seasons and for the most part this season, he has not been playing at full strength. The 6-11 center, looked like the elite prospect he was when coming out of high school, with his length and athleticism. He was one point shy of a double-double with nine points (4-for-5 FG), 10 rebounds, three blocks and two steals. Oregon as a team had eight blocks in the game.
At the end of the first half, the Ducks would go into the half leading 44-25 with a three-quarter court heave by senior Eric Williams Jr., which gave Oregon their largest lead of the opening half. Williams Jr., the lone player off the bench to score in double figures, shot the ball extremely well. Also, he generated some offense himself by getting a few steals in the passing lanes and finishing at the rim in transition. The Ducks piled up 18 fast break points while holding the Beavers scoreless. Williams Jr. scored 14 points on 6-for-7 shooting from the field. He hauled in four rebounds and had two steals.
Oregon maintained their lead throughout the second half in spite of turning the ball over 16 times in the game. De’Vion Harmon scored the first seven points of the second half, knocking down two 3-pointers and preventing any rally by Oregon State. Harmon concluded the game with 14 points on 5-of-9 from the field (3-for-6 3PT), five rebounds and three assists. The three guards for the Ducks in recent weeks have contributed the bulk of Oregon’s scoring.
The Beavers shot themselves in the foot and couldn’t keep pace with the Ducks due to several unforced errors (14 turnovers for the game). In addition, Warith Alatishe received two early fouls causing him to go to the bench. As one the Beavers top producers, he struggled to stay out of foul trouble, causing him to have one of his lowest scoring outputs this season. He scored three points (1-for-6 FG) and pulled in six rebounds. On the season, Alatishe has averaged 10.9 points per game and 6.6 rebounds while shooting 53.3 percent from the field.
Jared Lucas did his part in the scoring column with 12 points, but on 4-for-11 shooting. Lucas, an undersized shooting guard and leading scorer on the season for the Beavers, hit several tough shots. This included difficult fade-away jumpers from the baseline and constantly moving off-the ball to find any opening to get his shot off with his quick release. Roman Silva, big in stature at 265 pounds and standing at 7-1, was tough for the Ducks defenders to keep out of the paint. He scored 17 points (7-for-13 FG) and collected six rebounds. Silva got his points in the paint, but the Ducks dominated the paint overall with a 40-18 advantage, with both the front and backcourt of the Ducks apart of the action.
Oregon (13-7, 6-3) will travel to face Colorado (13-7, 5-5) on February 3rd, who they lost to in the closing minutes just a week ago. Oregon State (3-15, 1-7) will be at Utah (8-14, 1-11), also on February 3rd.