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Oregon Men’s Basketball: Ducks Defeat USC, 80-75, in Series Sweep

Entering the final stretch of the regular season, the Oregon men’s basketball team need tough wins on the road. The Ducks survived a late rally by USC Wednesday night, defeating the Trojans 80-75 at the Galen Center in Los Angeles. Joe Young and the...

Men’s Basketball Preview: Oregon vs USC

The Oregon Ducks men’s basketball team will match up against Andy Enfield and the USC Trojans tonight at the Galen Center in Los Angeles, California. The Ducks (17-7, 7-4 Pac-12) have enjoyed a successful, yet surprising season, and they’re currently in third place in the Pac-12...

Young, Cook Power Ducks Past Huskies

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe Ducks are quickly turning into a cardiologist’s dream with all the close games lately.

Oregon went down to the wire once again as Joseph Young’s 10-footer in the middle of the key turned out to be the game winner in a 78-74 victory over Washington inside Matthew Knight Arena.

Young led the Ducks with 32 points and the home team needed every single one of them as the Huskies refused to go away. The win was the fourth in five games for Oregon and suddenly the Ducks have to be considered on the bubble for the NCAA tourney with a 16-7 mark.

They also keep a firm hold onto fourth place in the Pac-12 conference with a 6-4 record with Washington State next on the docket. The Huskies continue to struggle in league play with a 3-7 record and looking more and more like an NIT team with a 14-8 overall mark.

In the first meeting in Seattle, Oregon was stricken with a poor second half that did them in. No such let down in Eugene.

The Ducks had a 42-37 lead at halftime, but the Huskies opened the second half with an 8-0 run to recapture the lead. From that point on, it was a back and forth game that seemed like defense was optional at times.

Washington burned the Ducks over and over with inside shots, while Oregon was countering with clutch shots from the outside. Young nailed four of the Ducks’ six three-pointers. Both teams shot well over 50 percent from the field. The Ducks were 53.4 percent from the field and the Huskies were nearly 57 percent from the field.

But the Huskies couldn’t find the mark from the outside, going just 3-of-13 from long distance.

The only consistent inside threat for the Ducks turned out to Elgin Cook and his 16 points. Dillon Brooks and Jordan Bell each pulled down eight rebounds.

Nigel Williams-Goss led Washington with 19.

Oregon’s lead was never more than four in the last 10 minutes of the game, and the Ducks never fell behind. The Ducks’ lead grew to four once again with five minutes left after a botched alley-oop to Cook. But luckily for Oregon, the rebound went to Bell that passed it to Cook again and he wouldn’t miss this dunk.

At 70-66, Oregon had a couple of defensive break downs that will surely be the focus of upcoming practices before the next contest.

Williams-Goss nailed a jumper and Mike Anderson’s two free throws tied the game at 70-70 with 3:13 left. Young hit a jumper just inside the three-point line to give Oregon a 72-70 lead and also gave Young 2,000 career points.

But there was no time to celebrate the personal milestone.

Shawn Kemp Jr. and Cook traded jumpers and the game was tied with a minute left.

Needing a bucket, the Ducks were smart enough to go to the best player on the floor in Young, who didn’t disappoint. His 10-footer runner beat the shot clock and gave the Ducks the lead for good.

Washington coach Lorenzo Romar drew up a play that opened up Kemp inside by his very lonesome, but the Huskies couldn’t get him the ball. Instead, Cook tipped the ball to Bell and the Ducks called a timeout with 5.8 seconds left.

Jalil Abdul-Bassit hit two free throws with 0.7 seconds left for the final tally.

Oregon will look to repay the other Washington school on Sunday to avenge an overtime loss to the Cougars. It will also be an emotional night as Ernie Kent will come back to Matthew Knight Arena for the first time as a coach.

Many believe that if it wasn’t for Kent’s success in Eugene, there wouldn’t be a Matthew Knight Arena, where Oregon has won 78 percent of its games. The contest is scheduled on Sunday for a 4 pm tip on the Pac-12 Network.

   – Don Smalley


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