Photo by Allan Johnstone
Oregon Basketball

Recap: Oregon dominates Washington St

March 14, 2019

Oregon 84

WSU 51

Dana Altman's Oregon Ducks, riding a four-game winning streak all the way to Las Vegas, are peaking at the perfect time. Oregon had played Washington State just six days earlier, coming away with a nine-point victory in a game that was not that close.

It was much was the same in Vegas, as the Ducks opened an 18-3 lead and never looked back.

Oregon should consider sending each and every Washington State player a gift basket for how poorly the Cougars played in the first half. They finished with 16 first-half turnovers, 10 more than the Ducks.

Oregon capitalized on those turnovers, scoring 21 points off of them. Oregon held the Cougars to just 5 made field goals, on 23 percent shooting. To say the Cougars looked outmatched would be the understatement of the century, as Oregon dominated from the very tip.

Offensively, the Ducks were just as impressive. They were led by the unfamiliar trio of Ehab Amin, Will Richardson and Francis Okoro, who combined to score 23 first-half points -- three more than Washington State scored.

The Ducks went into half with a 37-20 lead.

If the first half wasn’t enough, Oregon’s second was above and beyond. Frankly, this game should have been over at half -- a mercy rule should have been applied.

We’ve seen comebacks happen often over the course of this season, both for and against the Ducks, but there would be no rally for Washington State. Oregon outscored Washington State 47-31 in the second half, getting solid contributions from their diaper dandies: Miles Norris and Louis King.

The duo provided 22 points and 7 rebounds, scoring in a variety of ways. Norris was particularly impressive, as the freshman finished with a career-high 14 points and made a lot of smart basketball plays on both ends of the floor.

Defensively, Oregon never let up, holding the Cougars to just 37 percent shooting and 20 percent from beyond the arc. Wednesday’s showing from the Ducks was one of the most impressive all season long; it really seems that this team has started to believe in each other.

If Oregon can continue to score at this rate and play its patented defense, the Ducks might just play their way into the NCAA Tournament.

Key Notes/Stats:

If there was one player who really did not want to go home today, it was senior Amin. The “Egyptian Pharaoh,” as Bill Walton would call him, finished with 17 points on 5-7 shooting, including 3-4 from deep.

Amin was his usual self on defense, providing high energy and disruption, but it was his offense that stole the show. Amin was confident in his shot, as each three he took looked good from the second it left his hand. Amin also drove the lane with malicious intent, getting fouled on every trip.

Another game, another almost double-double for freshman center Okoro. Okoro finished with 8 points and 8 rebounds, as he further cemented his starting center status.

The big man may not have the ability to hit a shot from beyond 10 feet, but his touch down low is excellent, and his rebounding ability is unmatched. Okoro is also not afraid to throw his body around, battling for position and often winning against defenders.

The second-leading scorer on the Ducks was another freshman: Norris. Norris was everywhere, making timely cuts, using his extreme length to disrupt passes and even connecting on a corner three.

Norris’s ability to stroke it from deep will become a huge addition when he’s on the court. With additional development, he could become a real weapon.

Oregon is now riding a five-game winning streak, and could not be peaking at a better time. I don’t know how, but Altman is like clockwork. Sometimes it takes 10 games and sometimes it takes 30 games, but a Dana Altman team will always compete come March.

Oregon will take on third-seeded Utah on Thursday. The tipoff is scheduled for 8:30 p.m. on ESPN.

Tags: Basketball
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