By DSH contributor Eric Sloat
Coach Altman said the Ducks have to take it one game at a time from now on, so they didn’t let the Bruins beat them twice, and took down the Trojans, 78-66 for their 3rd conference win to now stand at 3-6. The Ducks started this one playing aggressive defense, forcing USC turnovers on their first two possessions. Unfortunately, the Ducks didn’t convert either of those in to points, and on their 3rd possession, the Trojans took a 2-0 lead. The Ducks came back with a Ben Carter lay-up, to tie it at two. It would stay close, until the Ducks gained the biggest lead of the half, 25-20, with 7:01 left on a lay-up by Dameyan Dotson. But the Trojans ended the half on an 18-9 run and had the lead, 38-34.
The Ducks have sealed their fate in the last two games with horrendous play at the start of the second half. But this time it was the Ducks making the statement. The Trojans got the first basket, just as they did at the start of the game. But Oregon would go on a 10-4 run to take the lead for good at 44-42, and a 22-6 run, had the lead at 56-44. The lead was at its biggest with :30 left at 78-64 before the Trojans tallied their final two points.
Gotta be the shoes: Dominic Artis soars for two as the Ducks bury USC 78-66 (Scott Olmos, USA Today Sports Images).
Oregon won this game on the defensive end, forcing the Trojans into 22 turnovers, and stealing the ball 16 times. The Trojans were not allowed to take advantage of their height inside because of the Ducks were constantly attacking the ball, not allowing any passing lanes. Oregon’s offense is still a shadow of what it was at the beginning of the season, but this time the team showed initiative and purpose; they went to the basket, found easy looks and attempted 9 free throws before the Trojans got to the line. Mike Moser had a great response to his foul plagued effort against UCLA by scoring 13, and getting 6 rebounds. Jason Caliste, who has been the Ducks’ most consistent player this season, had 18, and Joe Young had another strong performance getting 21 points. Now it’s on the road to Arizona, who just suffered their first loss of the season to Cal, on Thursday, and ASU on Saturday.