by DSH basketball columnist Eric Sloat
The Oregon team that played in this game had little if any resemblance to the one that escaped with an overtime victory against BYU in December. This game was won on defense, points in the paint and the boards; 3 areas that the Ducks had little interest in at the beginning of the season.
The Ducks were 2-13 behind the 3 point line, earlier in the season that would have meant disaster for the Ducks; not just because of the 15%, but because the Ducks would have just kept shooting more of them. This time, Oregon moved the ball and found other shots, getting looks inside, 21 assists, and 50% overall. The leader on offense, with his mom watching from the stands, was Elgin Cook; 8-9 from the floor, 7-10 on free throws, 21 points, 8 rebounds, and 0 turnovers. Joining him double figures were Joe Young with 19 and Jason Calliste, with 14. Calliste, was also incredibly effective on defense. In the previous game against the Cougars, guard Tyler Haws burned the Ducks with 32 points, 13-21 shooting. This time, led by Calliste, Haws went 7-18 from the floor, finishing with a team high, 19 points. It wasn’t just Haws who had trouble getting shots; BYU shot 20-61, 32% overall, Oregon didn’t allow many second chance points either, out rebounding BYU, 33-30.
Throw it down, big man: Elgin Cook goes up strong in Oregon's 87-68 win over BYU in the second round of the NCAA Tournament. The Ducks face #2 seed Wisconsin Saturday (Jeff Harnish, USA Today Sports images).