NCAA 2nd Round: Oregon’s 2nd Half Surge Puts Away BYU


March 20, 2014 – Matt Carlino of BYU goes up for a shot in the middle of Oregon defenders during a 2nd round game in the NCAA Tournament. (Photo by Jaren Wilkey/BYU Photo)

#7 Oregon 87 #10 BYU 68

Well… in the ever-applicable words of Ron Burgundy, “Boy, that escalated quickly.”

BYU fought hard for the majority of the game to keep themselves within striking distance. With 13 minutes left in the game, the Cougars finally snatched the momentum with a couple long range daggers from Matt Carlino. No doubt BYU fans were pumped as Dana Altman called a time out with the score 56-53 in favor of the Ducks. It turns out that time out was probably the play of the game. The newest member of the BYU Club (that’s what I’m calling it now), Elgin Cook, responded with an old fashioned 3 point play and the Ducks didn’t look back. What once was 56-53 at the 12:02 mark ended up 86-61 with four minutes left in the game.

“I mean, that really got out of hand fast.” Indeed it did, Ron. Indeed it did.

Let’s look at some of those points I rolled out on Wednesday’s preview, shall we?

Who picked up the rebounding slack?

Oregon did.

Unfortunately, the question was aimed at BYU. They needed Collinsworth there. At the very least, he’s a guy other teams have to pay attention to when crashing the boards. Once Mika and Austin got into foul trouble, BYU’s size advantage was gone. The length and athleticism of Elgin Cook and Richard Amardi and Mike Moser was too much for back up big men Josh Sharp and Luke Worthington. What was a +11 rebounding advantage in the first meeting turned into a -5 the second time around.

Who attacks the basket?

My answer comes in the form of a tweet that describes BYU’s finishing ability, especially in the first half.

Who’s the third man down low in the 2-3 zone?

It really didn’t matter; there weren’t many rebounds to be had. Whenever BYU gave the 2-3 look, Elgin Cook set up in the short corner and waited for the drive and dish. The high post and the short corner, both vulnerable areas for a 2-3 zone, were readily available and Oregon picked it apart like my buddy Mike picks apart one of those ready made rotisserie chickens from the grocery store. Ravenous precision.

My gut feeling says Damyean Dotson goes wild.

The gut knew somebody was going to show up and show out against the Cougars. It wasn’t Dotson. But it was Elgin Cook. From multiple and-ones to a pretty sick put back dunk, he had it goin’ on. When all was said and done, Cook had career high 23 points to go with 8 rebounds. Welcome to the BYU Club, Mr. Cook. May your regression to the mean be a pleasant affair.

Seriously, though. After Calliste got 31 against BYU, he put up 10 against Morgan State. Bobby Sharp hung 27 on the Cougars and then went for 5 against San Diego. Chaz Williams tickled the twine for 32 versus BYU and netted 12 against Northern Illinois. Evan Payne put up a respectable 16 against San Diego after hitting up BYU for 27. Malcolm Brooks got 24 against BYU and followed it up with 11 at Santa Clara. Apparently BYU Club benefits are limited to games against BYU.

Mika and Moser – who stepped up?

Neither was especially awesome, but both contributed. Mika was great when he was in the game, but foul trouble held him to 25 minutes. Porous perimeter defense did not help his cause at all. The defensive resolve BYU had late in the season did not show up. As a result, fouls occurred when Mika and Co. tried to stop the drive.

Like Mika, Moser contributed when he was on the floor, but foul trouble limited him to just 19 minutes. He did what he could in those minutes, especially on the boards, but it probably wasn’t the performance he had hoped for. Moser ended up with 7 points and 6 rebounds.

Final Words

Credit goes out to all the BYU players today. They hung in there. They kept battling when the big men went to the bench in foul trouble. They made a strong second half run to seize momentum of the game. In fact, for a minute there, it looked like I’d be able to Twitter-troll Digger and Jay and Doug all night long. Unfortunately, Oregon stepped to the plate and took the game by the horns. Good luck to the Ducks in the round of 32.