Winning battle and War
(The Register-Guard) LAS VEGAS -- Oregon got exactly what it wanted against Oregon State.
The Ducks beat the Beavers 88-74 in the first round of the Pac-12 Conference tournament on Wednesday night at MGM Grand Garden Arena and did so with a strong effort from the bench that left its starters with plenty of rest heading into tonight's quarterfinal against UCLA.
"I like the fact that we didn't have to kill anyone with extra minutes," Oregon coach Dana Altman said. "I thought we spread them out pretty good. I thought we showed good depth, and that helps us."
Joseph Young played the most minutes of any starter with 27, and the bench combined to spend 104 minutes on the floor while outscoring Oregon State's reserves 46-6 to help the Ducks (23-8) win their eighth straight game.
"Coach stressed at the beginning of the tournament that depth would be a big factor," sophomore forward Ben Carter said. "A lot of teams are not as deep as us. We take pride in that."
Jason Calliste provided his usual production off the bench with 17 points on 4-for-5 shooting from the field, including 3-for-4 on three-pointers. Point guard Dominic Artis, who was 1-for-12 from the field in his past seven games, had 10 points and six assists in 23 minutes, and Carter had six points, his second-highest total of the season, and three assists, which matched his total from the previous nine games, in 20 minutes.
"It helps that D.A. got those minutes and got his head up and Ben got those minutes and got his head up," Altman said. "If we can count on D.A. for 20 (minutes) and Ben for 20 and they play that well, it really helps."
Oregon State scored the first nine points of the game, culminating in a jumper from Devon Collier, before Oregon finally scored on a three-pointer by Mike Moser after the Ducks missed their first nine shots. OSU led 15-7 when Altman put Carter, Artis, Calliste and Elgin Cook in the game with Damyean Dotson.
Oregon scored on nine of its next 10 possessions with that lineup on the floor and forced eight turnovers with a full-court press to take a 26-19 lead on a jumper by Carter with 6:27 left in the first half.
"We came in, played our role, played intense and brought energy," said Cook, who had six points, three rebounds, and matched his season high with three steals. "We wanted to press a bit, and that caused some turnovers."
Oregon State closed within 41-40 at halftime and took a 42-41 lead when Angus Brandt scored to open the second half. OSU led 57-54 lead after a three-pointer by Brandt with 14:26 left to play before Oregon scored nine straight points. Moser hit a three-pointer to put Oregon ahead 59-57, and Young later scored 10 straight Oregon points on drives to the basket to put the Ducks ahead 71-59.
"We were executing, moving the ball around, cutting," said Young, who led the Ducks with 19 points on 8-for-11 shooting. "Everyone wasn't standing in one spot, and coach was doing a good job calling the plays."
Oregon shot 16-for-20 from the field in the second half, including 5-for-6 on three pointers, to shoot 57.7 percent for the game.
"You can't play a really good team like that and play one half," OSU coach Craig Robinson said. "I thought in the first half we did a good job on them defensively or at least an adequate job. Then in the second half, we just couldn't stop them."
Brandt had 20 points to pace the Beavers (16-15) and Roberto Nelson added 19. Oregon State shot 60.5 percent from the field, but had 15 turnovers, compared with five for Oregon.
Oregon State will wait to see if it gets an invitation to the NIT, and the Ducks will play UCLA at 6 p.m. today.
The Bruins and Ducks split two games this season.
Altman will have a starting lineup that got plenty of rest against Oregon State and a group of bench players who are building confidence.
"Nobody played too big of minutes," Carter said. "We will come out fresh and come out with energy. We have one game under our belt and we'll try to get two."
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