It wasn't pretty, and the second half was littered with turnovers and fouls, but the Oregon Ducks FINALLY got a win at Maples Pavilion. After 24 straight losses, which included all of Ernie's best teams, the Ducks finally held off the Stanford Cardinal 67-59.
The game started with Oregon jumping out to a 9-2 lead on layups by Catron and Jacob, a jumper by J.R. and a three from Nared. Throughout the rest of the first half both teams traded baskets and Oregon was never able to get their lead to greater than 7. With 3 minutes to go in the first half, Stanford made a push with a basket by Powell, a 3 from Brown and two free throws by Owens to tie the game at 29.
The last minute of the first half was once again a struggle for Oregon with missed layups, turnovers, fouls and when Sim ended the half with an air ball 3, you knew the momentum had finally shifted to the Cardinal.
Just like the OSU game, Oregon came out struggling at the beginning of the second half. They racked up 13 fouls, gave up 6 offensive rebounds, and after a Josh Owen layup with 15 mutes to go, Oregon had watched Stanford take a 6 point lead. After a TV timeout, Malcolm Armstead woke up and had one of his best halves of the season. Oregon ended up going on a 10 point run and would never give up the lead again. J.R. Strowbridge made two clutch 3's and Johnathan Loyd added one that stretched the lead to 10.
Stanford made one final push at the end, but a layup and a foul for Singler, who struggled to get his shot all night, was the nail in the coffin for the Tree.
Malcolm Armstead: Easily the best game of the year for Armstead. He still has trouble with turnovers in Altman's system, but he had 10 points, shot 50% from the field and had 4 assists and 5 boards. Armstead was definitely a spark off the bench tonight as he led the Ducks back from their biggest deficit in the game by having 3 scores and assisting on another as Oregon climbed back into the lead.
Joevan Catron: Another solid performance for Catron coming back off that injury. 15 points and 6 boards, and with Nared fouling out early, 31 crucial minutes down low for the big guy.
J.R. Strowbridge: JR was money tonight. He had some clutch threes and 2 big steals to help Oregon nail down the victory. I'm really glad he joined the Ducks this year as his leadership and hustle on the floor have been crucial in these two recent road victories.
E.J. Singler: EJ struggled for most the game to get in the flow of the offense, but he made the most of the ball movement by picking up 5 assists and that "And 1" at the end of the game was a back breaker as Stanford was threatening by making it a one score game with less than a minute to go.