Two of Oregon's of Ducks put their abilities on full display Wednesday as Joseph Young and Mike Moser combined for 62 points as the Ducks used a torrid second half from the field to defeat the Catamounts 107-83. The Ducks shot 74% in the second half as they were able to stem Western Carolina's comeback attempts. Young's 36 was the most a Duck has scored since Tajuan Porter scored 38 against the Portland State Vikings in 2006 and was a Matthew Knight record. Trey Sumler led WCU with 29 points and a trio of three point shots in a losing effort for the Catamounts.
"I thought the guys did a good job of pushing the ball in transition and looking ahead." Said Coach Dana Altman postgame, "when we hit a couple threes the floor got spread and the drive lanes became even better."
Oregon used a strong stretch to extend their lead to as much as 11 but the Catamounts would not go away in the first half. Behind some timely shooting from Brandon Boggs and Oregon's inability to take care of the ball, the Ducks held only a 2 point lead over WCU at the half at 41-39. Mike Moser scored 15 of his 26 in the first half as a variety of drives and midrange shooting paced the Ducks. Oregon's 7 turnovers and a 17-12 rebounding edge kept the game competitive in the first half even after Oregon threatened to blow the game open late in the half.
While Moser owned the first half, the first several minutes of the second half belonged to Joseph Young. In the first seven minutes of the half, Young came out on fire, scoring 17 points in that 7 minute period which aided in his game high 36 points. Oregon would stretch their lead out to 16, their largest of the game before the Catamounts started to chip away and force an Oregon timeout, down only 6 with 9 minutes to play. The Catamounts would get no closer. Oregon came firing out of the timeout and stretched their lead to as much as 28 en route to a convincing victory.
The Ducks and Young specifically seem to be taking advantage of the new hand checking rule as Oregon attempted 47 free throws, converting 74.5% of those attempts. It's clear Oregon will not have trouble scoring this year with talent such as Young, Moser and Damyean Dotson, but where they need to improve is on the defensive end and rebounding. WCU shot just under 45% for the game and connected on 9 three pointers. Coach Altman was not pleased with the effort, stating the team will have to get tougher on the defensive end.
"If they want to have a nice year and have fun they're going to have to guard and rebound a heck of a lot better than what we have demonstrated the last two games, and they know that." Said Altman.
Oregon's next game will be against Utah Valley on Tuesday right back in Matthew Knight as they look to continue their growth defensively in the preseason.