The Ducks started slow missing their first 9 shots as the Beavers jumped out to a 9-0 lead. OSU would extend that lead to 15-5 at the 13:41 mark forcing Dana Altman to go to his bench. And it was the bench tonight that got the Ducks back into it. Ben Carter, Jason Calliste, and Dominic Artis came in and lead the Ducks on a 19-4 run.
For a guy like Artis, who has struggled late in the season to have the kind of night he did should bode well for the rest of the tournament. You know what Calliste is going to give you off the bench. Joseph Young can score in bunches like he did tonight when he scored 10 straight, but having someone like Artis to spell Loyd when he's as beat up as he is now is invaluable.
Key to the victory tonight was taking care of the ball and forcing turnovers. Oregon State had 15 turnovers to Oregon's 5. The Ducks are never going to be a team that consistently causes their opponents to shoot a low percentage. OSU shot 60% from the field, but it was the turnovers and the defensive pressure of the Ducks that got them into their transition and gave them an advantage.
Elgin Cook lead everyone with 3 steals, and Calliste's consistent on ball pressure forced Roberto Nelson into a number of travelling calls and bad passes. Speaking of big guys playing well, Richard Amardi had a solid night off the bench and Ben Carter looks like he is finally rounding into mid-season form. Carter had a number of hustle plays and loose ball saves.
The wins moves the Ducks on to the second round where they'll get another shot at Ucla. The Ducks beat the Bruins the last time they met, but that was when Jordan Adams and Kyle Anderson were suspended. Look for the Bruins to try and make a statement to jockey for NCAA tournament seeding. The Ducks need to keep the momentum going as they have rattled off 9 straight conference wins and appear to be once again playing their best basketball of the season.