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Ducks Outlast USC, Win Fifth Straight

Courtesy: Oregon Sports Information

oregon ducks alternateLOS ANGELES (AP) – Mike Moser had 20 points and 12 rebounds, Joseph Young added 16 points, and Oregon broke open a close game midway through the second half to beat Southern California 78-63 on Saturday.

Oregon earned its fifth straight victory and eighth consecutive win over the Trojans.

Jason Calliste scored 13 points and Elgin Cook had 12 for the Ducks (20-8, 8-8 Pac-12), who outscored the Trojans 17-3 in the final 9 minutes to reach the 20-victory plateau for the fourth straight season – just the second time in school history they’ve accomplished that feat.

Pe’Shon Howard led USC (10-19, 1-15) with 20 points – all but four in the first half. Byron Wesley added 12 points for the Trojans, who lost their 10th straight game. They also lost 10 in a row to complete the 2011-12 season.

The game was close most of the way. Neither team led by more than three points from the time Moser made a basket with 12:27 left in the first half until two free throws by Young and another pair by Dominic Artis gave Oregon a 65-60 lead with 8:35 remaining.

The Ducks would score nine more points in a row to make it 74-60 with 4:30 left. Omar Oraby’s two free throws with 4:12 to play ended a USC scoring drought of 5:09, but the Trojans had fallen too far behind to come back. USC didn’t make a field goal after Wesley’s basket with 9:21 left cut Oregon’s lead to 61-60.

Howard, averaging 10.6 points beforehand, scored 11 in the first 7 minutes as the Trojans took a 19-12 lead. The Ducks scored the next 10 points – five by Moser – before a basket by Wesley ended a USC scoring drought of nearly 5 1/2 minutes.

The teams were tied 36-all at halftime – no surprise since both teams shot 12 of 26 from the floor. USC led Oregon by four points at halftime in Eugene four weeks ago before losing 78-66.

First-year coach Andy Enfield started USC’s five seniors – Howard, Oraby, J.T. Terrell, D.J. Haley and Daniel Munoz – in the team’s final home game.

The win enabled the Ducks to complete a sweep of UCLA and USC in Los Angeles for the second straight season. The Ducks have won five of their last six against the Bruins.

Moser had 20 rebounds Thursday night in Oregon’s 87-83 double overtime win over the Bruins – the most by an Oregon player since Greg Ballard had 20 in a five-overtime game at California 37 years ago.

The Ducks have made 44 3-point shots during their five-game winning streak.

The Trojans complete the regular season at Washington State and Washington next week and the Ducks finish against Arizona State and No. 4 Arizona at home.

FINAL: Oregon (20-8, 8-8) 78, USC (10-19, 1-15) 63

– Oregon improves to 20-8 on the season, marking the fourth straight 20-win season. That has been done just once previously in school history, 1936-39 under Basketball Hall of Famer Howard Hobson.
– Oregon has defeated USC in eight consecutive games while sweeping the LA schools on the road for the second straight game.
– Once sitting at 3-8 in Pac-12 play, a five-game win streak has brought the Ducks to .500 in the conference (8-8).
– Mike Moser tallied his fifth double-double of the season with 20 points and 11 rebounds. In the past two games, the senior has tallied 32 points, 31 rebounds and nine assists.
– Once leading just 61-60 at the 9:21 mark, the Ducks closed the game on a 17-3 run to win going away.
– Elgin Cook added 14 points off the bench on a 4-of-4 shooting display, his first game in double figure scoring since tallying 12 against Illinois on Dec. 14, 2013.

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