Road games in the Pac-12 can always be an adventure, especially for a team that has struggled with injuries this season. The Ducks entered a two-game road stretch Thursday facing the Washington schools starting with the Huskies in Seattle. Of course, when looking at the postseason, road wins have equal, and in some cases more importance than home wins.
One positive for Oregon was the debut of Mookie Cook who has yet to see the floor this season. Nate Bittle and N’Faly Dante are still out with injuries and could be back within the next month, but that is yet to be determined.
On Thursday, Jermaine Couisinard led the way with his experience and helped the Ducks to a big road win early in the Pac-12 season. He opened the game with a three-pointer and hit the game-winner with under 20 seconds left. The Ducks took the win 76-74. Freshman Jackson Shelstad led the way with 17 points, his third straight game scoring in double figures.
For the Ducks, it was shooting in the second half that was the difference. In the final 20 minutes, Oregon shot better than 60 percent from the floor. Kwame Evans Jr was a key to the win, scoring 15 points with 8 rebounds. He also had three blocked shots and two steals.
Mookie Cook made his presence felt as well entering late in the first half finishing with four points on two dunk shots for the Ducks.
The game was a back-and-forth battle for 39 minutes. After Couisnard hit the first points for Oregon, Washington scored the next 7 points. Oregon was down 36-30 at halftime and came back with some fight to take the road win, which could be a key as the season continues.
Oregon earned a Quad 1 win in the Net Rankings, which is the new standard in determining the NCAA Tournament. The Ducks continue their road trip with a visit to Pullman to face Washington State. Tipoff is set for Saturday at 7 pm Pacific Time on ESPNU.