After a dime from PG Jonathan Loyd to a cutting Joseph Young, Young was rejected at the rim by C Jordan Bachynski on a reverse lay-in that would’ve sent the game into overtime. The Oregon Ducks(15-8, 3-8) lost their eighth Pac-12 game of the season and the fourth by two points to the Arizona State Sun Devils(18-6, 7-4) 74-72 in Tempe, Ariz.
But at halftime, it seemed like an ASU victory was a foregone conclusion. ASU steamrolled the Ducks early, led by a dominant effort from Bachynski. The Ducks had no answer for the seven-footer who scored 18 first half points on 5-5 shooting. Bachynski thrived in the pick and roll with PG Jahii Carson, who found him for multiple aesthetically pleasing passes and finishes. Though Carson only scored four first half points, he ignited the Sun Devils fast break, distributed the ball efficiently and made his presence felt on the glass. Carson finished half one with four assists and six rebounds. The Sun Devils shot 69 percent from the field in half one.
Oregon, however, started out of the gates unbearably slow. UO shot 1-13 in the first half from three and shot 25 percent overall. F Mike Moser, who scored 11 points on 5-9 shooting, was the only Duck to shoot above 50 percent in the first half. Plus, UO’s most consistent players, Young and Jason Calliste, combined for just one made field goal.
The Ducks trailed the Sun Devils 43-23 at halftime.
UO head coach Dana Altman must have struck a chord with his players, because UO looked like a much more aggressive and confident team in the second half.
Young went absolutely berserk in the final 20 minutes, scoring all of his game high 29 points in the second half. And after two three’s, a three point play and a lay-in from Young, three-point plays by both F Elgin Cook and G Jason Calliste and a lay-in by G Damyean Dotson, the Ducks went on a 22-5 run to cut the lead to four. Then with 5:30 left, a Calliste three culminated the comeback by tying the game up. The Ducks wrecked havoc defensively throughout the second half utilizing full court press with C Waverly Austin being used as the rim protector. The Ducks finished the game with eight steals.
But after the two teams stayed relatively even for five minutes, with a one point ASU advantage, G Jermaine Marshall hit a tough runner with 22 second remaining. After a pair of free throws by Young, the Ducks fouled Marshall with five second left. He made one of his two attempts.
The final play contrasted with two other failed last second game tying opportunities this season in which Loyd took the ball all by himself and missed wild shots as time expired. This time he made a pin point pass to Young for a good look. However, Bachynski’s ninth block of the game sealed the ASU victory.
Along with his nine blocks, Bachynski scored 26 points and grabbed nine rebounds. Carson struggled all night from the field, hitting just 2-10 shots. However, he grabbed 12 rebounds and dished out six assists. Marshall and F Shaquielle McKissic added 12 and 15 points respectively.
Aside from Young’s 29 point explosion, Moser was the only other Duck to reach double-figures. The big man scored 14 points. Calliste’s four game streak of scoring at least 14 points ended against ASU. He scored just eight points and got into a war of words with a few ASU fans in the first half. Calliste had to be pulled back by UO staff members. After the game, he was reportedly spit on by an ASU fan.
The Ducks will have eight days to recuperate before a Civil War matchup with OSU next Sunday in Matthew Knight Arena at 12 p.m.