Poor Second Half Dooms Ducks in Corvallis, 72-57

Consistency has been absent for most of this season for the Oregon men’s basketball team and it was no where to be found in Corvallis.

The Ducks played decent ball in the first half, claiming a 28-27 halftime lead, but came out after break and played one of the worst 20 minutes of the season.

The result was an Oregon State 72-57 win, giving the Beavers a regular season Civil War sweep for the first time in a decade.

With the loss, the Ducks dropped to 6-6 in league action and 15-10 overall. OSU improved to 8-4 in Pac-12 play, good for second place in the conference, and 16-8 overall.

Stephen Thompson, Jr. led the Beavers with 22 points and Tres Tinkle added 13.

Louis King seemed like the most aggressive Oregon player on the floor as he poured in 20 points. Paul White scored 12, but they were the only two Ducks in double figures.

Payton Pritchard and Kenny Wooten were held down to just four points each and their lack of production stifled the Oregon offensive game plan. It was reported that Wooten was battling an illness of some kind during the week leading up to the game.

Oregon’s junior point guard did managed to dish out seven assists, but the Ducks needed Pritchard to score a lot than four points against the potent Beaver attack.

Despite the 15-point margin, the Ducks were very much in this game, down 50-46 with 7:47 remaining.

Next came a series of unforced errors that included turnovers, needless intentional fouls and wide open shots that were missed on one end and made on the other.

The result was a Beaver 12-2 run in the next two minutes and the Ducks never recovered. Pritchard hit his first and only three to cut the OSU lead to 62-51, but the Beavers scored the next six points to seal the win in front of a sold out Gill Coliseum.

Next for the Ducks is a trip to Los Angeles where they will play USC Feb. 21 and UCLA Feb. 23. Both games are contests Oregon can definitely win, but it’ll have to overcome that whole inconsistency thing going forward.

USC is 7-6 in league play and just 14-12 overall. UCLA is having one of their worst years in quite some time. The Bruins are 6-7 in league and 13-13 overall.

The contest with the Trojans is on ESPN at 6 pm. As for the game inside Pauley Pavilion with the Bruins, the Ducks will tip off at 7 pm either on ESPN or ESPN2.

   ~ Don Smalley
 www.DuckNews.com

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