Pullman, WA (Sports Network) - Finding themselves at the top of the Pac-12
once again the No. 23 Oregon Ducks head to Beasley Coliseum for a league
battle with the Washington State Cougars on Saturday.
A three-game losing streak last week had the Ducks reeling but with wins in
their last two contests and a surprising loss by No. 9 Arizona, they now find
themselves in sole possession of first place in the Pac-12 (9-3). Oregon
earned its 20th win of the season in a 65-52 victory on the road over
Washington on Wednesday, marking the third straight season the Ducks have
reached the 20-point plateau. Oregon will kick off a three-game homestand next
Washington State has not been near the upper echelon of the Pac-12 this
season. In fact the Cougars are currently in sole possession of last place in
the conference after dropping a 67-66 decision to Oregon State on Wednesday.
The Cougars have just two wins in 12 league battles and are 11-14 overall. The
Cougars are off on the road in their next three games beginning against
Arizona State on Wednesday.
When these teams met back on Jan. 23 at Matthew Knight Arena, Washington State
put up a fight but eventually fell in a 68-61 decision. The win was the fourth
straight and seventh in the last eight meetings for Oregon, which leads the
all-time series, 161-123.
A balanced offensive attack and stingy defense led to Oregon's victory over
Washington. The Ducks had four players in double figures and shot 49 percent
from the field, while holding the Huskies to just 35 percent shooting. Damyean
Dotson was the top scorer for the Ducks with 13 points.
Oregon is enjoying a sizable scoring margin this season (+10.3) by posting a
healthy 72.6 points per game on 45.5 percent shooting. The Ducks allow just
62.3 points per game to foes on 40.4 percent shooting. Controlling the boards
has been another strength as the Ducks lead the Pac-12 in rebounds (38.3 pg).
Dotson (11.4 ppg) is the leading scorer on the team but had been struggling
ever since backcourt running mate Dominic Artis (10.2 ppg) was sidelined on
Jan. 24 with a foot injury. E.J. Singler (11.2 ppg, 4.9 rpg, 3.1 apg) does a
little bit of everything, while Tony Woods (10.0 ppg, 3.6 rpg), Carlos Emory
(10.0 ppg, 4.3 rpg) and Arsalan Kazemi (8.9 ppg, 9.5 rpg) anchor the team in
Washington State trailed by as many as 15 points in the second half against
Oregon State but a 15-4 run in the final minutes had the Cougars trailing by
just a single point, 64-63, with 1:14 remaining. However D.J. Shelton missed a
potential game-tying 3-pointer with seven seconds remaining as the rally came
As an offensive entity Washington State has been the worst in the Pac-12. The
Cougars are putting up the fewest points per game (63.7) in the league, while
ranking among the bottom three teams in the Pac-12 in assists (11.9 pg) and
field-goal percentage (.423). The Cougars are also last in the conference in
rebounding (33.9 pg), although they have managed to limit teams to just 61.8
points per game. Brock Motum (18.0 ppg, 6.4 rpg) is one of the most consistent
scorers in the conference as he has scored in double figures in every game
this season and only once put in fewer than 14 points. Mike Ladd (11.4 ppg)
and DaVonte Lacy (10.6 ppg) also have double-figure scoring ability.
The Sports Network