The Ducks opened up conference play Saturday night as they beat the Beavers 71-59 in the Civil War. Joseph Young had an incredible shooting night and led the team with 27 points. The victory gives Oregon their sixth win in a row and the Ducks now have a record of 11-3.
Oregon jumped out to a fast lead. Jordan Bell set the pace and created transition points off four early blocks. The Beavers tried a zone defense against Oregon, but quickly abandoned the zone after finding themselves in a deep hole. The Ducks went up 10-0 after a Bell slam off a pass from Dillon Brooks.
<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p>Check out the play of the game thus far, a slick alley-oop from Brooks to Bell <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/FreshmanConnection?src=hash">#FreshmanConnection</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/GoDucks?src=hash">#GoDucks</a> <a href="http://t.co/ug7h3jaPnw">http://t.co/ug7h3jaPnw</a></p>— Oregon Basketball (@OregonMBB) <a href="https://twitter.com/OregonMBB/status/551556346500218881">January 4, 2015</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>
Young played great defense on Gary Payton II early and denied "The Mitten" the ball, which made it very hard for the Beaver guard to get going. Payton struggled in the first half and scored only four points off of two of four shooting. Oregon State started to heat up at the end of the half and a pair of Malcolm Duvivier free throws cut the Ducks lead to 25-20. The Beavers run didn’t end their as they tied the game at 27 before a Young jumper gave the Ducks a 29-27 lead heading into intermission. The Beavers did have a chance to tie it before the half, but Oregon State forward Jarmal Reid missed a wide open layup.
Brooks started to get in rhythm early in the second half, scoring a quick layup and then making a pair of free throws. The star of the second half was Young; in the first six minutes after the break Young hit three, three-pointers and gave the Ducks a 44-35 lead. Payton had a SportsCenter not top-10 moment when he missed a fast break dunk that led to a Ahmaad Rorie three-pointer. After the Rorie three, Elgin Cook went on a mini-run, scoring five unanswered points, including a drive to the basket that resulted in a made layup and a free throw.
<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p>Check out Cook with the strength in the lane to get the bucket and the foul <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/GoDucks?src=hash">#GoDucks</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/FlyWithUs?src=hash">#FlyWithUs</a> <a href="http://t.co/QvcE24eEo6">http://t.co/QvcE24eEo6</a></p>— Oregon Basketball (@OregonMBB) <a href="https://twitter.com/OregonMBB/status/551568688810192896">January 4, 2015</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>
At the 7:35 mark Young came back into the game and hit another three, giving Oregon a double-digit lead. Reid fouled out of the game for the Beavers with under five minutes left in the game and it was too much for the Beavers to overcome. Oregon State couldn’t cut their deficit under double-digits for the rest of the game.
Bell finished the game with eight points, nine rebounds and five blocks. Cook finished with a double-double scoring 18 points and 10 rebounds. Brooks scored 10 and Rorie led the team with three assists.
The Ducks will host the Arizona schools next week. The Wildcats are ranked No. 8 in the nation and have lost the last two match-ups at Matthew Knight Arena. Oregon and Arizona will play Thursday night at 7:30 p.m. on the Pac-12 Networks.