Oregon Ducks go bonkers in second half, defeat Oregon State 88-74 in Pac-12 Tournament

Oregon Ducks go bonkers in second half, defeat Oregon State 88-74 in Pac-12 Tournament
March 12, 2014, 10:00 pm
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Fentress 3 pointer - Ducks win Civil War 3

Oregon Ducks guard Johnathan Loyd (10) and guard Joseph Young (3) celebrate against the Oregon State Beavers during the second half in the first round of the Pac-12 Conference Tournament at MGM Grand Garden Arena. The Ducks defeated the Beavers 88-74.

(Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports)

LAS VEGAS – Oregon guard Joseph Young did his thing Wednesday night.

Forward Mike Moser made some plays.

The UO defense stepped up.

But it was the bench that played out of its mind in this one.

The Ducks' reserves combined for 46 points on 14-of-18 shooting and made 13 free throws to propel Oregon to an 88-74 win over Oregon State in Wednesday’s first round of the Pac-12 Tournament.

It was about as tight of a performance one will ever see in a college basketball game.

And it’s a clear sign that these Ducks are for real.

Now, if they can just get by UCLA Thursday night.

To do that, Oregon (23-8) will need to carry over some of what it had going for it Wednesday night.

The Ducks turned a 57-56 deficit with about 13 minutes remaining in the second half into a runaway victory by clamping down on defense, shooting 80 percent in the second half and generally looking like a team that is going to be tough to beat in this tournament.

Especially if backups, guard Dominic Artis and forward Ben Carter, keep performing as they did against the Beavers.

Artis scored 10 points and had six assists against the Beavers (16-15).

Those are monumental numbers given that he scored 10 points combined in the last eight games, including four performances of zero points.

“D.A. is a good kid,” Altman said of his sophomore guard who, along with Carter, was suspended by the NCAA for the first nine games of the season for selling team-issued shoes. “It’s killing him that he wasn’t playing well. He’s a competitor. He’s a good player. I told him I’ve had a lot of players go through this. Maybe not quite as long but go through it.”

The play of the bench kept Oregon alive until Young took over.

He led the team with 19 points, 13 coming over a stretch that blew the game open.

“We were executing, moving the ball around, cutting,” Young said. “Everybody wasn’t standing in one spot.”

Young was the main one on the move. He drove to the basket for several baskets, one coming on a nifty pass from Carter as the junior guard cut down the lane.

Speaking of Carter…He made all three of his shot attempts for eight points and had three assists.

Backup guard Jason Calliste scored 17 points on 4-of-5 shooting.

“It showed our depth,” Altman said. “I thought our depth was a difference in the game.”

Another big difference was turnovers. Oregon had just five compared to 15 for the Beavers.

That offset OSU shooting 60.5 percent from the floor. Roberto Nelson scored 19 and Angus Brandt had 20.

"We helped them out with the number of turnovers we had," OSU coach Craig Robinson said.

Altman agreed.

“The difference in the game was our 21 points off their turnovers,” Altman said.

So many differences between the two teams, so little time.

OSU will now await an invitation from either the NIT or CBI.

The Ducks, a lock to be invited to the NCAA Tournament, will take on UCLA (23-8). The Ducks defeated the Bruins 88-83 in double overtime a few weeks ago.

But on that night, UCLA was minus its top two scorers, Jordan Adams and Kyle Anderson.

“UCLA is the most gifted offensive team in our league,” Altman said. “They’ve got a lot of guys who can score. They can spread you out. Anderson is a terrific passer. We’ll have our work cut out for us. They’re a tough matchup for everybody because of their offensive ability.”

The Ducks, winners of eight-straight and seemingly peaking throughout the roster, present their own matchup problems, as well.