So often, a basketball game comes down to who executes their fundamentals down the stretch and it took a BYU collapse at the free throw line to give Oregon a 100-96 overtime win over the BYU Cougars Saturday night.
"That was the most exciting game I've ever played in," said Damyean Dotson.
Jason Calliste took over for Oregon as he set a career record for points with 31. Joseph Young added 25 while Mike Moser and Dotson chipped in 15 and 12 respectively. Tyler Haws looked unstoppable at times for the Cougars as he poured in 32 leading 5 scorers in double figures in a losing cause.
"I was just playing. This is how I play. I scored the ball, it's what I do, score and defend," said Calliste
While the Cougars shot well from the field, it was their lack of efficiency at the free throw line and turnovers which ultimately cost them this game. BYU missed 14 free throws and their 18 giveaways turned into 22 points for the Ducks.
"We were fortunate. We got beat [by] 11 on the boards, we got outplayed for a large portion of the game. They missed free throws...and we hit ours," said Coach Dana Altman.
Oregon scored the first basket of the game giving them a 2-0 lead and would not level with the Cougars again until they tied the game and sent it to overtime.
With the clock running down, Johnathan Loyd drove the baseline and found Elgin Cook who was hammered on his shot with 1.8 remaining in the game. With the game in the balance, Cook clanked both free throws and sent the game to OT.
It was fitting then, that Cook was the one with two big offensive rebounds and put backs in the extra period to tie the score twice.
With the score tied at 94 and the clock under a minute, Frank Bartley looked to have a clear lane to the basket. Mike Moser stepped over and took a game changing charge, to give the Ducks the ball back and Damyean Dotson's layup would give Oregon the lead for good.
The 2-0 Oregon lead and the 96-94 lead marked only 1:02 of game time in which the Ducks led, but escaped with a victory.
5 of 7 of Oregon's next 7 games are on the road and it's going to be interesting to see how they react when they don't have the crowd at their back as they did tonight. With as many BYU fans who were in Eugene it felt nearly like the third neutral site game Oregon has played this season.
In short, Oregon is 11-0. The next 7 games will be pivotal in deciding where this team goes from here. Their next game is against Morgan State, at home a week from Sunday.