USA TODAY Sports
An incredible day of basketball was capped by an incredible game as the Oregon Ducks needed overtime to put away a very physical and relentless Husky team.
Both teams started out hot and even though UW played last night, they showed no signs of fatigue in the first half of the game. Oregon matched them early behind the hot hand of Dameyan Dotson who had 13 in the first half on 5 of 8 shooting. The pace was definitely frantic at times, but Oregon was able to fight through it, as well as the physical play of the huskies to take a 5 point lead into half.
The second half was a different story. Oregon went cold and only shot 33% and UW was able to build a 6 point lead behind the outside shooting of CJ Wilcox and Scott Suggs, and Abdul Gaddy and Aziz N'Diaye's in the paint. Wilcox led all Husky scorers with 19 and Scott Suggs added 18 himself.
It looked at times that Oregon's late game falters were going to come back to bite them again. Tony Woods and Arsalan Kazemi were not going to let that happen tonight. Woods started backing N'Diaye down low and going after missed shots. Woods was Oregon's leading scorer with 19 and Kazemi who had only 1 point in the first half finished with 14.
Kazemi has really been struggling the last couple of games and for most of the game today it was the same thing. Kazemi took time in the conference afterwards to thank Coach Altman for sticking with him and encouraging him through it. "I had two tough games against Colorado and Utah. He was just keep on encouraging me during the practice to be positive about it and just go to work," Kazemi said. When he was struggling again this game it didn't look like Altman was going to use him much down the stretch. "But while I was sitting on the bench I was just like hoping, hoping that he'd put me back in the game. And I know if I was going back in the game, I'm not going to let it slip." And that's exactly what he did.
After a CJ Wilcox turn around jumper with :50 seconds left put the Huskies up by 2, Oregon came out and ran two plays for Johnathan Loyd where he was fouled and sent to the line to try and tie it. Free throws have been a problem of late for the Ducks but Loyd calmly knocked down the pair to send the game to overtime.
In overtime it was the Loyd and Kazemi show. Kazemi scored 11 of Oregon's 16 points and Loyd was his usual pesky self on defense forcing UW into 4 turnovers.
Oregon moves onto the semifinals where they will get a chance to redeem themselves from a loss a week ago to Utah. The Utes took down Cal in overtime as well, and are one of the hottest teams in the Pac with 4 straight wins.