Having served their nine game suspensions, Dominick Artis and Ben Carter returned to the Oregon lineup for the first time this year. Artis played 26 minutes and made his mark in a way contrary to what might be expected. Artis had a career high 8 rebounds in his effort as the Ducks dominated the UC Irvine Anteaters 91-63
Irvine provided a challenge the Ducks hadn't seen this year in 7-6 freshman center Mamadou Ndiaye, while he provided a challenge for Carter, the Ducks still came away with a rebounding advantage over the Anteaters.
While Artis was making an impact immediately, it looks like Carter is going to need a little bit of time to get back into the flow of the game, seeing his shot blocked by Ndiaye a couple times. His stat line was unremarkable but a breath of fresh air as Richard Amardi and Waverly Austin demonstrated problems getting their game going tonight.
Despite getting 20 points from Will Davis, the Anteaters couldn't overcome the 19 turnovers the Ducks forced, 13 of those turnovers being steals as Oregon scored 27 points off of those turnovers.
"We're heading in the right direction. Our defensive effort was good tonight, our talk is getting better. I can see positive direction and we've just got to keep putting pieces together," said Coach Dana Altman.
The Ducks seemed to pick up where they left off after their last 10 minutes of the Illinois match-up as they frustrated Irvine and put the game away early.
Joseph Young tallied 18 points to lead the Ducks and Mike Moser had 13 of his 16 in the first half as they opened up a big lead and never let the Anteaters into this one. Young was massively efficient as he made 7 of 10 from the field as a major part of Oregon's 48% shooting on the night.
This is probably the most unselfish team I've ever played on. We pass up good shots for great shots. That's the thing we want to hang our hat on, always sharing the ball and making easy plays for other people," said Moser.
Bench play was also dominated by the Ducks as they got 10 from Calliste as one of Oregon's four double digits scorers for the game. The scoring differential was drastic as Oregon took a 38-3 advantage over the Anteaters.
"When they come in, you aren't losing anything. When they go in the score is going to go up and that's a great feeling to have," said Moser
All in all, this was a clinic for the Ducks as they continued their effectiveness in sharing the ball. Oregon converted 32 baskets on 17 assists demonstrating what Moser said post game.
Oregon will face off against BYU on Saturday and the Cougars feature the best offense the Ducks will have to face to this point in the year. Running their record to 10-0 the Ducks have their best start since 2006-07 season which saw the team win the conference and make their run to Ernie Kent's final Elite 8 appearance.