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January 14, 2013After a huge upset against the fourth ranked Arizona Wildcats, the Oregon Ducks were able to rally another win (68-65) against the Arizona State Sun Devils Sunday night in Eugene.
The win against the Wildcats was a coming out party for the Ducks. They have now shown that they can compete with the best in the country.
Though the Ducks have already had much success this season, head coach Dana Altman consistently reminds his players that it is still January and to not lose sight of the ultimate goal: winning the Pac-12
The game on Sunday night didn't come easy for Oregon as Arizona State controlled the tempo for the majority of the game. The Ducks struggled on offense however got a huge offensive spark from Damyean Dotson who
finished with 14 points, and 4 rebounds.
Arizona State never allowed Oregon to gain momentum and take control of the game. The lead changed 12 times during the span of the game with neither team showing total dominance.
Head Coach Dana Altman commented after the game.
"We were very fortunate for a night that didn't seem to click. Not sure if it was focus or intensity but we never found a way to get a rhythm going but somehow found a way to win."
Although the Ducks could have played much better, they did step and hit clutch free throws 14-15 (93.3% late in the game. Rebounding was another factor that led to the Ducks victory. Though the Sun Devils had two 7 footers in the paint, they were able to out rebound Arizona State 32-29.
With the Sun Devils controlling the pace of the game, Oregon had a tough time getting back to back offensive possessions which made it hard for the Ducks to feed off of a quite student section (in comparison to
the Arizona atmosphere). Altman took fault for the energy level.
"We didn't give the crowd much to cheer about so the place never really got that going but overall, I am pleased that we found a way to win on a night that we weren't very sharp."
This victory places Oregon in 2nd place in the Pac 12 standing. Next, the Ducks are heading to Los Angeles to take on the Southern California Trojans (Thursday, January 17 - 8 pm).