Ducks Ride The Wave

Ducks Ride The Wave

EUGENE - For forty minutes Oregon had the rim protector they've so coveted. After struggling with bigger teams all season, Waverly Austin neutralized the Arizona State front court players and the Ducks won a key Pac-12 game 85-78 at Matthew Knight Arena.

EUGENE - For forty minutes Oregon had the rim protector they've so coveted. After struggling with bigger teams all season, Waverly Austin neutralized the Arizona State front court players and the Ducks won a key Pac-12 game 85-78 at Matthew Knight Arena.

Austin finished with 10 rebounds and five blocks, both career-highs, a feat made all that more impressive considering he was matched with the conference's best center in Jordan Bachynski.

"We haven't had a rim protector. You look at conference stats and our blocks are way behind opponents. Even though he had five blocks, there were a lot of shots that he altered," Oregon Head Coach Dana Altman said.

"He was the difference in the game. I know Mike's stat line was very impressive, and Mike had a great game," he said of Moser, who had 22 points and 17 rebounds. "As well as Mike played, I thought he was the difference in the game."

Oregon outscored the Sun Devils 32-12 in the paint.

The Ducks opened the game on a 15-0 run as they made 5-of-8 to start. But ASU was able to cut it to one moments later and kept it under ten for the rest of the half.

"When we went to Arizona State, they kind of went at us like that. When they came here we felt that we needed to pick it up," said Damyean Dotson who had eight of their first 10.

The second half went much the same way with Dotson connecting on his third three of the game to give Oregon a 14-point game before ASU rallied to cut it to 55-52 with 10:30 left.

In all, Oregon outscored ASU 29-6 in the first four minutes of each half.

Oregon used 24-13 run to take a 79-65 lead with a little over a minute to play.

The Ducks second half run was in part due to the play of Moser. Moser tallied his third straight double-double, with 17 points and 15 of his rebounds coming after the half.

Austin started the team's first 11 games before being relegated to the bench for all but one of the team's next nine. A great second half against the Sun Devils in the first meeting earned him the spot and he's embraced it ever since.

"Even though I wasn't playing," Austin said. "I kept going hard on practice. Coach always tells me to be ready and today I knew I had the opportunity to help this team out, and that's what I did."

"It's really hard to go from starting to coming off the bench to starting, and never knowing how long your leash is. But Wave is one of those guys that's remained positive through everything," Moser said.

Still, the effort caught even his coach by surprise.

"He was practicing better, but I've got to be honest, I didn't see this coming. The blocks and the changing shots, and 10 rebounds. I didn't see that coming. I feel really good for him," Altman said.

Austin helped the Ducks hold ASU to 38-percent shooting and just 11-for-33 from two-point range. But the Sun Devils still managed 12 made threes.

"This was our most complete [defensive] game. I wouldn't call it a complete game. Definitely most complete. We played good," Moser said.

The win is the Duck's sixth in a row and guarantees them at least 9-9 record in Pac-12 play. Three Ducks joined Moser in double figures. Calliste had 16, Dotson 15 and Young 13.

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