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Hawks handle Mustangs’ surges in 57-39 win

Morrison's Alex Anderson (left) defends against Oregon's Noah Campos during a Jan. 3 game in Oregon.
Morrison's Alex Anderson (left) defends against Oregon's Noah Campos during a Jan. 3 game in Oregon.

In the scoring battle between the two players wearing No. 23 on Jan. 3 at the Blackhawk Center, it was Oregon’s Trey Woolsey coming out on top over Morrison’s T.C. Ottens – and it was Woolsey’s team coming out on top over the Mustangs 57-39.

Woolsey finished with 33 points. Ottens had 20.

Woolsey shot 14-for-29 from the field, knocking down three 3-pointers amid a slew of drives to the rim and baskets in transition. He also had eight rebounds, two steals and three assists.

“He can shoot from about 40 feet. He can attack the basket. He’s tall. He can dribble. He’s quick. He can jump. He can use both hands,” Morrison coach Jason Banks said. “We knew he was going to get some points, we talked about that, but it was making him have to earn his points. He had 16 at half, but he took a lot of shots to get to 16.”

Ottens had nine points in the first half, five of which came from the free-throw line, before scoring 11 in the second half, finishing the game shooting 5-for-12 from the field and 9-for-11 from the foul line.

“We wanted to front with help-side [defense], and sometimes he sealed us and we didn’t have that front,” Oregon coach Quinn Virgil said. “He’s big, long and athletic, and if he catches it there, he’s pretty tough. Early on he was hitting his free throws, which was a huge help to them.”

Oregon (10-5) got 16 points from Woolsey in the first half as he hit a 3-pointer on the game’s first possession before adding a pair of layups midway through the first. In the second quarter, he added another nine points.

“Coach told us to come out and have energy and get a lot of stops,” he said. “We were really just trying to work hard on the defensive end.”

Morrison (6-11) could not get on the scoreboard until midway through the second quarter. The Mustangs’ first three trips down the floor all ended in Oregon steals, one by Ryker Finch and two by Woolsey, while the Mustangs missed their first 13 shots from the field in the game before Kolten Sage got a basket in transition with 4:11 left in the first half.

“They missed some shots, which helped us, but we played pretty good defense,” Virgil said. “We were in the right spots. I thought we were helping out, and we boxed out in that first quarter.”

Oregon jumped out to a quick 9-0 lead over the first 4 minutes of the game, but then the Hawks’ offense started to falter as well. Oregon went scoreless over the last 4 minutes of the first quarter, and didn’t score again until the 6:30 mark of the second when Noah Campos hit a layup off of a steal from Josh Sitze. In the interim, the Hawks came up empty on eight straight possessions.

Oregon built its lead up to 17 early in the third on a 3-pointer from Finch and a 3-pointer and a layup from Woolsey.

The Hawks extended the lead to as many as 20 in the fourth quarter.

“[We had to] just keep our intensity up,” Woolsey said. “We had that quick timeout and Coach told us to have more energy and start playing harder, so that’s what we did.”