It was "Phil it UP" knight at Matthew Knight Arena and Oregon was able to pull away with the win on Saturday night. Within the first minute Joseph Young set the pace for the game with two steals. Oregon played defense and they defended well. Young was the Ducks’ playmaker on both ends of the court. The Ducks ended the game with 16 steals, breaking both the season record (13) and MKA record (15).
The game didn’t start out very pretty. The first basket came two minutes into the game by USC’s Pe’Shon Howard. However, once their shots began falling, the intensity picked up that is until they got "comfortable" as Young put it.
The Ducks defense has definitely improved. They had nine steals—four of which were from Young—and forced 10 turnovers within the first half. It wasn’t their best half in regards to shooting. Oregon shot 38.7% compared to USC's 50%, yet they still managed to trail by a mere four points at the half.
The Ducks trailed the Trojans 38 – 34 at the half.
"Second half that the mindset these last three games we come out no intensity in the second half," Young said. "We wanted to make a change today and get back on track. We came out with intensity from the beginning and that's what made the game."
As Young said, the Ducks came out with intensity for the second half. Once they developed a lead, the game was over. Oregon led by as much as 17 points in the second half, ending the game 78-66. Saturday’s win pushes the Ducks’ winning streak against the Trojans to seven.
It wasn’t just offense that resulted in the Ducks’ win. Their time spent working on their defense has paid off. Oregon forced the Trojans to turn over the ball 22 times, seven of which came from USC’s guard Pe’Shon Howard. The Ducks were able to create 19 point off those turnovers on Saturday. And let’s not forget Oregon’s record-breaking 16 steals, six of which were from Young.
Joseph Young led the Ducks with 21 points and six steals. He went 5-12 in shooting on 31 minutes of play.
Jason Calliste, who is the only duck to score double figures for the last six games, ended the game with 18 points on a 6-12 shooting night. "My whole college career I’ve been a scorer," Calliste said. On how he’s improved as a shooter: "Hours of work."
"Mike Moser played a lot better tonight. He had a game Thursday he would really like to forget…He got his head on and focused. He got himself ready today," Coach Dana Atlman said of Moser’s game. Mike Moser, who didn’t have his best game on Thursday against UCLA, led the team with six rebounds as well as 13 points.
"We’ll be alright. We’ll just play like we played today and we’ll be alright. I’m not worried about it," Calliste says about their matchup next week against Arizona State and University of Arizona.
The Duck’s head to Arizona to play Arizona State on Thursday at 1 p.m.