Game 18 Open Thread: Oregon vs. Oregon St. - Civil War Battle #334

Omari Johnson scores in last year's Gill Coliseum installment of the Civil War. (Photo by Andy Wooldridge)
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Oregon vs. Oregon St. - 3 PM - Gill Coliseum - FSN

The Ducks (8-10, 1-5) meet the Beavers (8-9, 3-3) in the first installment of the basketball Civil War this season, but the 334th. overall. Oregon St. swept the series last season, giving them a 183-150 lead in the series. The 183 wins is also the most any NCAA school has against any other NCAA school in the country. The Beavers are also looking for win #100 over the Ducks in Gill Coliseum.

Both teams come into the game off home court splits last weekend against the LA schools, to the benefit of UCLA, who defeated the Beavers 62-57, and then the Ducks, 67-59. And the continuing detriment of USC, who found yet another reason to never want to set foot in the state again, after Oregon opened Matthew Knight arena with a 68-62 win over the Trojans, and then Oregon St. added an 80-76 defeat to end their trip.

Both Oregon and Oregon St. built big leads, 20 & 16 points respectively, in their wins, putting the Trojans into too deep a hole to climb out of.

Oregon was led in scoring against USC by Jonathan Loyd, with 12 points, one of four Ducks with between 10 and 12 points. E.J. Singler had 15 points to lead the Ducks in their loss to UCLA. Oregon played both games without center Jovan Catron, who had suffered a strained calf muscle. Catron, the Ducks' leading scorer, expects to be back for the Civil War.

Oregon St. was led in the UCLA game by Roberto Nelson, who came off the bench with 13 points, Nelson was the only Beaver in double figures against the Bruins. Jared Cunningham had a career high 24 points to lead the Beavers' win over USC, and Omari Johnson added a 12 point, 11 rebound double double.

Last year, the Beavers got their first win in 17 years at Mac Court in their last trip ever to "The Pit", a 64-57 Sunday night win that came 4 days after Oregon St. had taken one of their worst losses ever against Seattle U. Back in Corvallis, Omari Johnson exploded for 16 of his game high 18 points in the first half of the rematch, as Oregon St. helped send then Oregon coach Ernie Kent into broadcasting, with a 62-42 thrashing.

It will be Oregon coach Dana Altman's first Civil War, and Beaver Nation will be looking to "further enlighten" him about the rivalry. Altman earlier this week said "I’m not really sure yet what the rivalry means. I know it means a lot to our fans (and) I’m starting to get a feel for the rivalry with our fans talking to me. I get the feeling it’s going to be very important to our players."

The game would be significant for both teams even if it weren't for the Civil War aspect. Oregon St. is sitting smack in the middle of the Pac-10 standings, thanks to going 3-1 at home in conference games. But with only 4 home games left after today, getting home wins, and wins against teams below them in the standings is almost mandatory.

Oregon has to get going, and get some wins, in order to have any hope of escaping the conference cellar, and more importantly, to have any chance at climbing high enough to avoid an extra, first day game in the Pac-10 Tournament.

We'll be in the middle of the fun at Gill, and have a complete report later. Those of you not able to get to Corvallis, but listening to Mike Parker, or taking in the national broadcast on FSN, can discuss and analyze here, and even share your favorite memories of Civil (and sometimes less than civil) War battles from the past.

Andy_Wooldridge@yahoo.com

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