Oregon's Jay R Strowbridge, who led the Ducks with 26 points, drives past Oregon St.'s Lathan Wallace (34). (goducks.com photo)
Final Score: Oregon 82 Oregon St. 63
Oregon made a statement Saturday, with an 82-63 win over Oregon St. in Matthew Knight Arena that claimed a sweep of the season's Civil War, and also gave them a 7-3 mark since the "Matt" opened. The Ducks are playing their best ball in several years going down the stretch, and could do some damage come the Pac-10 tournament.
Oregon St. on the other hand has now lost 10 of 12, and looks like damaged goods. The Beavers continued to struggle to score with consistency, while the Ducks came in flying high, and hitting as often as not from outside an Oregon St. defense that was stretched all over the floor.
Only Lathan Wallace was able to produce many points for Oregon St., finishing with 17, the only Beaver in double digits. Even that paled compared to Oregon's Jay R. Strowbridge, who, like Wallace, came off the bench, but poured in a career high 26 points.
Strowbridge got scoring support as well, as E.J. Singler and Joevan Catron posted 13 points apiece.A complete sellout relegated most Oregon St. fans to television coverage, and FSN fumbled away the first 5 minutes of the game, as it took forever for the Cougs to Coug it, and the conference's already poor RPI, and lose 71-69 to last place Arizona St. in Tempe. But a slow start meant all tv fans missed was a 4-2 Oregon St, start.
Devon Collier got in early foul trouble, and Malcolm Armstead made a pair of shots, the second a three, followed by consecutive three pointers by Teondre Williams, and the Beavers were down 16-10 come the second media timeout.
Strowbridge, who had hit a three pointer earlier, made consecutive baskets for a 22-10 lead, while Oregon St. couldn't get anything out of numerous offensive rebounds. Garrett Sim's steal, score, and free throw made it 27-10, as the Ducks' run reached 14-0 before Ahmad Starks' shot finally stopped the streak.
Oregon used picks in backcourt and above the key to neutralize the 1-3-1 zone defense, and seemed to play with a greater sense of certainty as to what they wanted to do than Oregon St.
It also helped the Ducks that they were shooting 50% (5-10) in the first 15 minutes of the game from three point range, while the Beavers continued to struggle, missing their first 6 from outside the arc.
Oregon St. finally made a run, with a Starks basket under pressure, and finally a three pointer by Wallace, giving Oregon St. a 10-0 run, cutting the Oregon lead down to 37-27.
The Beavers' run, and their rebounding, fizzled though, and the Ducks got 2 offensive rebounds and a foul for what was a minute long possession.
Oregon made 5 free throws in the last two and a half minutes of the first half, while Oregon St. made nothing, and the lead was back to 13 points, Ducks 42-29 at the break.
Oregon St. started well, and Oregon didn't, to start the second half, and the Beavers got the deficit back down into single digits, trailing 44-35 at the first media timeout.
Oregon answered with a small run, but continuing to scratch and claw, the Beavers cut the deficit to 48-39, and then 51-43. But Strowbridge, celebrating his birthday, struck with his 8th. basket on 12 shots, and 4th. of 6 from three point range, at the 11:45 mark.
Strowbridge eventually made three consecutive three pointers, and had 11 consecutive points for Oregon, as the Ducks took a 60-46 lead. Singler sank another three to raise Oregon's outside shooting to 11 of 22, but that didn't last, as Strowbridge lifted his total to 26 points the next trip down, hitting his 6th. of 8 three pointers, for a 20 point, 66-46 lead with over 8 minutes left.
Meanwhile, the Beavers were still only 2 of 12 on threes.
Armstead had an unheard of stat at that point, 13 assists against 1 turnover.
Down 22 at the under eight minute media timeout, Daniel Deane got into the game for the Beavers, Oregon St. coach Craig Robinson's equivalent of waving the white flag.
Looking at the final stat sheet, the Ducks took the exact same number of shots as the Beavers, and only made 5 more. But it was the outside shooting that made the difference, as Oregon sank 13 of 26, while Oregon St. made only 4 of 21, all by Wallace, who was 4 of 7. The rest of the Beavers were 0 for 14.
"It's real hard to win at this level when you don't score well," Robinson said. "You just can't do enough other things."
Oregon coach Dana Altman had a well conceived approach to attacking the Oregon St. zones, and also had the Ducks passing sharply. Oregon St., the leading steal team in the nation, only got 4, and the Ducks had only 11 turnovers, compared to 19 by the Beavers.
Oregon (14-14, 7-7) pulled into a tie with USC for fourth in the Pac-10, while Oregon St. (9-16, 4-10) stayed in ninth place. The bay area schools, who occupy the sixth and seventh places in the conference standings visit the valley this week, with Stanford starting in Corvallis Thursday night, while Stanford stops off in Eugene. The weekend will have a lot to do with which team from among the Beavers, Bears, and Cardinal avoids the first day game at the Pac-10 Tournament.