Top Takeaways From Oregon Ducks Basketball Win Over Washington Huskies Basketball
It’s that time of the year again. You might as well have it marked on your calendar that once conference play gets going, Head Coach Dana Altman and the Oregon Ducks get going. Despite a rocky 6-6 start to the season, the Ducks are absolutely cruising through Pac-12 opponents and have won six straight.
Sunday night at Matthew Knight Arena followed the trend. The Ducks hosted their bitter rivals from the state above, the Washington Huskies, and absolutely clobbered them 84-56. The final score is even a bit kind to the Huskies, if that’s possible in a 28-point blowout, as the Ducks were embarrassing the Huskies 48-13 after the first half. Here are my takeaways from Oregon’s emphatic win.
Oregon MBB vs. Washington
First Half Dominance
Oregon had an unusual eight-day break between games due to the game against Washington State getting postponed, so Coach Altman made sure to work his guys extra hard in practice to keep the momentum.
“It was a long week,” said Altman. “They didn’t enjoy the practice … all that much. So they were ready to play a game.”
The hard work paid off for the Ducks. They looked like a well-oiled machine on both sides of the ball to start the game. On offense, the Ducks encountered multiple types of defenses from the Huskies including the 3-2 zone and a full-court press. But the Ducks were incredibly patient and took their time to find good shots – something that has troubled this team in earlier games. The Ducks shot an insane 65.5% from the field in the first, and an even more insane 66.7% from three.
But the defense was even more impressive. Oregon forced 14 turnovers and only allowed 13 points in 20 minutes of play – mind-boggling. The Altman-patented full-court press worked with much more success than Washington’s press. And Oregon racked up five steals in the first, including three for the human fast-break Jacob Young. Altogether, the first half featured possibly the best 20 minutes of basketball that Oregon has played all year.
Second Half Struggles
Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for Oregon’s second half performance on Sunday. Washington outscored Oregon in the second 43-36, with Washington’s Emmitt Matthews Jr. collecting all 12 of his points in the second.
This may be an overreaction, as Oregon was only outscored by seven in the second and still won by 28 points. But Altman, as you might guess, was none too pleased with his team’s second half showing.
“Our defensive transition there was not very good,” said Atlman. “With some of the teams in the league, we’re gonna have to get a lot better defensively.”
Sunday’s game wasn’t the first instance of poor end-of-game performances from the Ducks this season. Against Oregon State, the Ducks were up by as many as eight points in the second half, but would have lost the game if OSU’s Warith Alatishe converted on his buzzer-beating chance under the basket. Against No. 3 UCLA, the Ducks almost terribly ruined their upset bid by turning the ball over twice in a row on inbound plays to let UCLA send the game to OT. The Ducks still has to face tough teams like Arizona, and USC and UCLA who will be looking for revenge, so they’ll need to tighten up their second half performances.
You may also like:
Join the Community
Follow Graham on Twitter: @GrahamMetzker