College Basketball Invitational Quarterfinal Recap - Oregon 77, Duquesne 75

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Dana Altman’s Oregon Ducks are getting used to all this tournament play; they are liking the results they’re attaining.

A mere week and a half after upsetting UCLA in the Pac-10 Tournament and getting all the way to the semifinals, the Ducks are back in the semifinals, this time in the College Basketball Invitational. Garrett Sim scored 20 points to lead Oregon to a hard fought victory. It was the Ducks fourth tournament win in the last 11 days. The Ducks seem far removed from the end of the regular season, which saw them drop their final four conference games. There seems to be something special about the way Oregon plays in a tournament environment.

Duquesne surely had its chances to steal one on the road. After falling behind by nine points at halftime, the Dukes fought back with an impressive display of outside shooting. Duquesne hit 13 three-pointers and trimmed the lead to just three on the final possession. Sean Johnson was then fouled on his three-point attempt with just 1.5 seconds remaining in the contest. With a chance to tie the game with three successful free-throws, Johnson missed the first and last, giving the Ducks the victory and extending their season for one more night. Johnson finished with 13 points in 20 minutes of action.

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The Ducks can thank their fast start and ability to get to the free-throw line for the successful evening. Oregon turned a 13-6 deficit into 32-22 lead in just under ten minutes of game time. Sim scored 12 of his points during that span and the Ducks were able to get stops on the defensive end to allow the run to continue. Oregon pushed its lead to double-digits again the second half before the Dukes countered with a run of their own. Duquesne went on a 15-6 run to trim the Oregon lead to just one on an Eric Evan three-pointer with 14:07 remaining. The remainder of the competition was fierce and played quite evenly. The Dukes kept coming and coming, until finally, free throws undid any final swan song of victory. Bill Clark had 19 points and seven rebounds to pace Ron Everhart’s squad. The Dukes finished the season at 19-13

Oregon will get yet another chance to prove its mettle in a tournament setting. The Ducks will face Creighton of the Missouri Valley Conference. If the past week and half has taught us anything about the caliber of basketball Oregon is capable of playing, the folks in Eugene have more than optimism to hang their hat on. The Ducks are tournament players.

By Zach Bloxham
DFN Sports Staff Writer




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