Ducks bounce Beavs from Pac-12 Tournament
LAS VEGAS (AP) Once Joseph Young got rolling, the shots kept falling for him and his teammates.
Triggered by Young, Oregon put on an offensive show in the second half to pull away from Oregon State for an 88-74 victory in the first round of the Pac-12 tournament on Wednesday night.
Young scored 15 of his 19 points in the second half and the Ducks made a staggering 16 of 20 shots in the final 20 minutes, turning what had been a close game into a rout.
"We were executing, moving the ball around, cutting to the basket," said Young, who made 8 of 11 shots. "Everybody wasn't standing in one spot and coach was doing a good job calling the plays right, and we were just executing."
The 342nd meeting between the Civil War rivals was their first in the Pac-12 tournament and carried plenty of implications for Oregon's NCAA tournament chances.
The defending tournament champion Ducks (23-8) came through after a shaky start, dominating the Beavers with their depth and score-in-bunches prowess.
Jason Calliste scored 17 points and Oregon hit 10 of 16 shots from 3-point range while outscoring OregonState 46-6 off the bench.
The victory sets up what should be an exciting quarterfinal against second-seeded UCLA on Thursday.
"We'll have our work cut out for us," Oregon coach Dana Altman said. "They're a tough match-up for everybody because of their offensive ability."
Oregon State got off to a great start, building an early 10-point lead. Once the Ducks started flying, the Beavers (16-15) had no way of stopping them.
Angus Brandt scored 20 points and Roberto Nelson had 19 in what could be their final game with the Beavers, who lost despite shooting 60 percent from the field. Oregon State is hoping for an invitation to the NIT or could end up in the CBI.
"We want to keep playing and try to keep this going," Oregon State coach Craig Robinson said. "Hopefully someone wants us."
Oregon is arguably the most dangerous team in the Pac-12 tournament, even as the No. 7 seed.
After opening the Pac-12 at 3-8, the Ducks have looked more like the top-10 team they were at the beginning of the season, reeling off seven wins to close out the regular season. Oregon picked up a big one to close the season, beating then-No. 3 Arizona at home to boost their NCAA tournament profile, but still was lingering around the bubble heading into the Pac-12 tournament.
Oregon State was the No. 10 seed, but was not going to be an easy out for Oregon.
The Beavers are not only Oregon's biggest rival, they beat the Ducks in January and their only shot at reaching the NCAA tournament was to win the Pac-12.
It had the potential to be the last game for Nelson, the senior who may have had something to prove after being left off the All-Pac-12 first team despite leading the conference in scoring.
Nelson did his part in the first half, scoring 13 points, and the Beavers were good when they got shots off, hitting 14 of 19.
The problem came when they couldn't get shots off.
After missing its first nine shots, Oregon raced past the Beavers behind their defense.
Creating turnovers with their press and halfcourt pressure, Oregon went on a 21-4 run to race past the Beavers for a 26-19 lead.
The Ducks led 41-40 at halftime after scoring 15 points on Oregon State's 10 turnovers. Oregon State had 15 turnovers overall that led to 21 points for Oregon.
"With a team like this, we had such a high-tempo, when you turn the ball over, they're getting easy layups in transition," Nelson said. "I think we have to do a better job of securing the ball."
It stayed close until midway through the second half, when Young took over.
The junior guard known for putting up points in bunches did just that against the Beavers, scoring on three straight drives and a basket underneath to cap a 17-2 run that put the Ducks up 71-59 and firmly in control.
"If you can keep him quiet for a while, he won't score," Nelson said. "But he got a few easy lay-ups that got him going."
And his teammates, giving Oregon a boost on its NCAA tournament resume.
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