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Elgin Cook powers Ducks to victory over Washington, extending home winning streak to 25

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Elgin Cook represented the Oregon senior class in the best way possible way Sunday night in Eugene. On senior night, Elgin Cook's tied career high of 26 points played a huge role in bringing the Ducks an 86-73 victory over the rival Huskies. With the win, Oregon closes out the home slate undefeated while extending the home winning streak to 25.

Scott Olmos-USA TODAY Sports

The Ducks capped off the home slate for the 2015-16 season looking for an undefeated record at home. At the same time, Oregon was looking to extend the school record of consecutive home wins. Making things more special on the night, Oregon seniors were suiting up for the last game in front of the Eugene crowd.

With the backing of a sold out Matthew Knight arena, the Ducks got on the board first with a jumper from senior Elgin Cook. Cook led the Ducks in the early going as he piled up seven points and one assist in the first three minutes. On the other side, the Huskies took advantage of the Oregon 2-3 zone by knocking down a few three pointers. At the first timeout of the game, Oregon held on to a 12-10 lead in the fast paced game.

After the timeout, the game finally slowed down as sloppy turnovers from both squads piled up. With the Oregon defense swarming, Pac-12 leading scorer Andrew Andrews finally got on the board with 13:30 left to tie it up. That wouldn’t last long, as a turnover and fast break layup by Casey Benson reclaimed the Oregon lead.

With the Husky defense making things tough inside, Coach Dana Altman decided to spread things out by putting Tyler Dorsey out of position into the de-facto point guard role. However, the move didn’t do much as both teams were stuck in an offensive slump after the hot starts. At the nine-minute mark, the teams had combined to hit only 3 of the previous 18 shots.

Elgin Cook finally broke the drought with a monster slam, bringing his total on the night up to 11. At the under-eight minute timeout the Ducks held on to a 22-18 lead.

Out of the timeout the Ducks were in the midst of yet another drought, hitting on just two of eight field goals. Elgin Cook regained the momentum for Oregon with a steal and coast-to-coast layup, pushing the lead back to four. With Boucher and Cook carrying the Ducks inside, the Oregon lead stood at 32-25 at the final timeout of the first half.

Just as it seemed the Huskies would be going into the half with the momentum, Dillon Brooks nailed Oregon’s first three pointer of the night as time ran down to end the half. At half, the Ducks claimed a 40-32 lead as the 13 of Cook and the 9 of Brooks and Boucher led them. The Oregon defense was also on display as Pac-12 scoring leader Andrew Andrews had just five points at half on two for seven shooting.

Oregon started off the second half on fire, going on a seven-point run in the first minute.  The run was capped off on the defensive end with a Mutombo like rejection from the Swatterboy Chris Boucher. But after a brief Washington run, the Ducks lead was back down to nine points at the under-sixteen minute timeout.

Oregon continued to get the Huskies in foul trouble out of the break as starting forward Marquese Chriss picked up his fourth foul, sending him to the bench. Unfortunately the whistle was going both ways as the Huskies closed the gap to seven thanks to free throws. With things getting chippy, Casey Benson came up clutch with a three-point play to push the lead back to ten.

Play was halted for a moment after a fan threw something onto the court after a run of questionable referee calls. After a Dillon Brooks three point play the lead was extended to 59-44 with Brooks pushing his total on the night up to 19. Following a Washington three pointer, Oregon led 59-47 at the under-twelve minute timeout.

Foul trouble started to pile up for both teams in the second half. With ten minutes to play, Benson, Boucher, Bell and Brooks each had three fouls. As the game became a free throw contest, the Ducks held on to a 67-60 lead with 7:29 to go.

With Andrew Andrews beginning to heat up, Washington cut the lead to six with 7:07 to play. Elgin Cook reclaimed the momentum as he snaked his way to the rim for an easy lay in. With Washington getting their points at the free throw line, the Ducks kept working the ball inside to score their points. After a few defensive stops and a huge slam by Jordan Bell, the Ducks held on to an 11-point lead at the final media timeout of the game.

Oregon went on to finish off the game for an 86-73 victory. With the win, Oregon extends the school record for consecutive home wins to 25 as they finish the 2015-16 home slate undefeated. The 26 points and seven rebounds of Elgin Cook led Oregon. Dillon Brooks chipped in 19 points, while Boucher and Bell combined for 22 points, 11 rebounds and 3 blocks. Next up for the Ducks is a road trip to Southern California starting with a visit to UCLA on Wednesday.

Takeaways:

The race for first. The win tonight gave the Ducks a huge boost in the quest to claim the regular season Pac-12 title. With two games in conference play remaining, the lead stands at a half game over Utah but of course the Ducks hold the tiebreaker thanks to the two wins this season over the Utes. Certainly not easy games to finish the season, but the Ducks are in a great position.

Elgin Cook. When Cook dominates, this team is so tough to beat. What made tonight so special was the combination of Cook and Brooks both playing at a high level. Cook was nearly unstoppable getting to the rim and did a great job capitalizing at the free throw line. 

Goodbye to home cooking. As nice as the confines of Matthew Knight Arena have been this year, it’s time to say goodbye. With many teams ahead of the Ducks in the rankings losing this week there’s a great chance to see a top ten-ranked Oregon heading to Southern California. Oregon must avoid the hangover and take care of business on the road to gain some confidence heading into the neutral site play of the tournaments.

Oregon's top performers:

Elgin Cook. 26 points (tie career high), 7 rebounds, 2 assists.

Dillon Brooks. 19 points, 5 rebounds, 3 assists.