What an amazing game to be apart of. If you missed the game tonight, you missed out on a gutsy performance by an Oregon team that just wouldn't quit this season. Before the game, Ntrebon and I were talking a little bit. He said something that I had in the back of my mind as well....tonight felt like a win. After all the pain and suffering we've dealt with this Pac-10 season, with the heavy weight of being 0-18 looming, we put together a complete game and boy does it feel good to talk about it. Here's the audio of the last 16 seconds (plays for about 2 minutes)
Look in the game thread and see how quiet it was in the second half. It wasn't because people weren't watching the game, it was just that intense. Were we going to pull it out? Were we really going to win the game? It was worth every second. It may sound silly, but this win meant more to me than a lot of past Duck wins. To see a team improve over the course of the year, seemingly get bashed at every turn, to turn in this kind of performance when it would have been so easy to ride out the last two games and get to the offseason, that's heart and a dedication to the cause.
On to some postgame from Ernie
I've got the player of the game and I think it was the crowd and those students over there because they could have folded on us a long time ago and I continue to tell those Freshman this is a special place and a special building and even a special community and I'm hoping that... you know, the character of those guys is what's kept those people coming back here cheering for them and hanging in there with them and...I just thought the student body was fantastic and even this group behind us standing up down the stretch.... You can't say enough about this crowd and what they did for this team because they kept us going and it really did too through some tough times and tougher moments and I'm just happy the way those kids have kind of grown up in front of their eyes a little bit.
More from Ernie on the crowd and the team
My player of the game is this crowd but its also this entire basketball team just for hanging in there, allowing us to coach them and not falling apart.
Couldn't agree more with Ernie about the crowd. Mac Court was electric. I'm not sure if Ntrebon talked to the Pit Crew before the game or what but they seemed on fire from the get go. Even when they could have gotten out of it when the Ducks were down 21-14 in the first half, they hung in there and the team responded. The team stuck together. I asked the question in the Open Thread if TP was becoming a leader or if we were starting to boil over. I think we got our answer.
Ernie says Matt Humphrey's mom is a required attendee from now on
I'ma tell Matt [Humphrey's] mom she has to come out the rest of the way now. She has to come out for Oregon State because he stepped up and he played an EXCELLENT basketball game, hit some big shots, did a great job defensively and a steal at the end there. The finish was huge for him.
Matt Humphrey's line for the game. 19 minutes, 3-4 from the field, 2-3 from beyond the arc, 2 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 steals and 2 blocks. 9 total points. One of those 3's came in the second half and really kept Oregon in it to win it. No doubt about the steal to seal the game at the end.
My favorite moment from the postgame, question from Jerry Allen to Ernie - How important was this win?
Well, it's important that somebody else can have that record of 0-18 number 1. We don't need that. As much as we hate to lose any of them, it's important get a W, now, let's go get another one.
I know it sounds strange to only have one win and be so pumped up for finishing out the season, but this win was like a giant weight was lifted off our collective shoulders. Its as if all of Duck Nation collectively yelled "FINALLY" and sighed a collective sigh. A complete game, our first complete game in awhile. I'm looking forward to Sunday.
Stat of the game: 83.3 percent from the free-throw line. One of the best performances of the year for Oregon at the charity stripe making 15 of 18 attempts. Only 8 turnovers in the game for Oregon. Many games we were over 8 in the first half.