With a heavy empahsis on the senior-led frontcourt, facing UNLV would be an interesting challenge to see how Oregon would play with a furious offense. Oregon responded with a huge early-season 83-79 victory in their first true road game.
The Ducks ran with them and guard play was terrific with both Damyean Dotson and Dominic Artis hitting double figures for the fourth time in five games. Dotson led the team with 19 points and three assists, Artis combined six rebounds and three steals with his 11 points, but also had three turnovers.
E.J. Singler and Tony Woods only combined for 14 points and three rebounds. Both experienced foul trouble throughout the game and eventually would foul out. Luckily, the bench would step up with Carlos Emory and Arsalan Kazemi playing the majority of time in the frontcourt and combined for 23 points and 17 rebounds. They limited second-chance points for UNLV all night long.
Collectively, the Runnin’ Rebels did their job at the charity stripe hitting 23-25 shots, but were abysmal from the perimeter with just 8-30 three-points falling. Oregon didn’t do any better going just 3-19, but with a few less turnovers and couple more rebounds than UNLV, that was the ultimate difference in a close victory on the road.
Anthony Bennett, which declared Oregon as one of his final choices to play basketball at, led his team with 22 points and 10 rebounds. He hit all seven free throws, but like the rest of his team, struggled from the three-point line hitting just 1-4. Mike Moser finished with nine points and missed both of his three-pointers, but made all five free throws.
Up next is Cincinnati in the Global Sports Challenge championship game. Considering the crowd for Iowa State vs. Cincinnati was just about non-existent at the Thomas and Mack Center (although both football teams played at the same time yesterday), this won’t be nearly of a challenge on the road as last night.
However, it will still be Oregon’s second top 25 team in two days. The Bearcats struggled against Iowa State’s athleticism and if it wasn’t for 19 turnovers by the Cyclones, they could have pulled out the win. Oregon may be in for another run-and-gun game with a loaded backcourt. Stopping second-chance points and maintaining ball control is a must to get out of Las Vegas with a championship.
Tipoff is at 7:30 p.m. PT and will be televised on CBS Sports Network.
Brian Spaen is the lead editor for Autzen Zoo. See his banter with other FanSided writers and love for his favorite west coast professional teams by following him on Twitter.