Despite a lethargic first half, the Oregon Ducks(18-8, 6-8) charged their batteries in half two and defeated the Washington State Cougars(9-18, 2-13) 67-53 at Matthew Knight Arena. The Ducks cruised to victory with G Damyean Dotson sitting on the bench after receiving at least a one game suspension for attempting to sneak into Taylors Bar & Grill with a fake ID.
“He feels he let the team down,” UO head coach Dana Altman said.
“Dot is a good young man and we’ll work through this,” he added.
However, Altman is not sure if Dotson will play against UCLA on Thursday.
“Dot and I will sit down and we”ll keep talking about it. Dot’s a good player and he’s played really well the last few games,” Altman said.
Throughout the first half, UO played as sloppy as it gets, consistently making unnecessary and often reckless passes. Through the first 3 1/2 minutes, UO was 0-2 from the field, 2-4 from the free throw line and turned the ball over three times. The Ducks failed to convert their first field goal attempt until just over 12 minutes left in the first half and didn’t make their second field goal in the half court offense until 6:19 left in half one. Not to mention, star G Joseph Young didn’t make a single first half field goal.
“We didn’t make good offensive decisions and we just missed some shots,” Altman said.
However, after a sizzling second half start by F Mike Moser, UO found its groove. Moser hit three shots from beyond the arc and scored Oregon’s first 11 points of the second half, bringing the Ducks to a five point advantage with 12:39 remaining.
“I was just trying to bring some energy and pick my teammates up. I got some open looks,” Moser said.
“I thought he played with a lot of bounce and was a difference maker in the second half,” Altman said.
With 5:30 remaining, Young hit a three with a defender draped all over him to give the Ducks their biggest lead of the game at 55-46. Then on the next possession, he hit another three-pointer. After that, the game was essentially over.
“The energy level changed(in the second half). We gave our fans something to cheer about. Also, the pace changed to our benefit,” Altman said.
Moser scored 15 of his 21 points and Young scored 16 of his 18 points in the second half. Moser led the Ducks with eight rebounds and four blocks and Young finished with a game high five assists.
After suffering through a dreadful January slump, Moser is on a bit of a hot streak. The UO forward has scored at least 20 points in back-to-back games and has scored at least 13 points in five of six games.
“Sometimes you go through some rough patches. It never stays that way if you’re a good player,” Moser said.
The Ducks got pummeled on the boards 35-24, but made up for it by forcing 17 turnovers and scoring 24 points off of turnovers. Plus, WSU only garnered four more second chance points than UO.
With Dotson’s absence Calliste was inserted into the starting lineup, leaving UO’s bench rather thin. The backup brigade scored just 12 points. However, UO’s starters picked up the slack, scoring 55 points.
Oregon’s win marked the culmination of an undefeated three game home stand. UO will begin a two game road trip against the Los Angeles schools on Thursday against UCLA at 8 p.m. The Ducks will have to bring more energy from the get-go if they want to leap to a huge stepping stone toward making the NCAA tournament field.
Altman commented on the ebbs and flows of the season so far and the upcoming road trip:
“We played our way out of it and now we’ve played our way almost back in it. This is a great opportunity for us.”