Both teams entered Sunday night looking to rack up back-to-back conference wins. The Ducks came in feeling confident after knocking off the talented young California Golden Bears on Wednesday.
The two offenses showed up looking like they had picked up some rust in the few days between games. The tempo of the game was going the way of the Cardinal as well as they had the game slowed down forcing the Ducks to work deep into the shot clock on both ends of the court. With the first time out coming at the 14:06 mark, Stanford claimed an early 9-6 lead.
Tyler Dorsey nailed a quick three pointer to tie the game right back up and give the freshman an early five points. Michael Humphrey of Stanford answered in the early going leading Stanford back out to a 13-9 lead with seven points of his own.
The Cardinal defense was impressive in the first part of the period as they forced the Ducks into six turnovers in the first ten minutes of the game. After the Ducks entered a scoring drought of nearly five minutes, Dillon Brooks finally came to the rescue with a beautiful left-handed put back at the rim.
The Ducks defense showed up big in the later parts of the first half as they forced the Cardinal into six turnovers in less than five minutes of play. With the tough defense closing the gap, a Casey Benson three tied the game back up at 17. After a back-and-forth run the Ducks trailed 20-19 at the last timeout of the half.
Beautiful ball movement from the Ducks led to some wide-open looks to close out the half. After a stellar running floater with the play clock running down by Tyler Dorsey the Ducks entered half up 28-24. Dorsey led the way for Oregon with seven with Benson second with six. The late half surge bumped up the first half shooting percentage to 47.8% for the Ducks while Stanford shot just 39.3%
After a rough start to the second, including Elgin Cook’s third foul, a fast break and-one layup for Dillon Brooks regained momentum for Oregon and brought life back to Matthew Knight Arena. Brooks was all over the court as he connected on a beautiful no look pass to Jordan Bell to give the Ducks a four point lead at the 16 minute mark.
Michael Humphrey continued his hot game for the Cardinal as he pushed his scoring total to 18 and brought his team back within one. But thanks to major hustle plays from Brooks and company the Ducks survived the brief Stanford run and extended the lead to 40-34 with just over 11 minutes to play.
The Ducks came out of the timeout on fire as they pushed their lead to ten with nine minutes to play. At this point it seemed like both teams had knocked off the rust for good and entered into a back and forth battle. With five minutes to play, the Ducks offense held the advantage for a 58-46 lead.
With less than three minutes to play, things started to get slightly tense after fouls started racking up on the Ducks giving Stanford free points at the line. A few big buckets from Tyler Dorsey helped turn back the momentum Oregon’s way and seal the win. The Ducks finished off the game for a 71-58 victory. With the win the Ducks move to 13-3 on the season and 2-1 in Pac-12 play.
Takeaways of the night:
Hustle plays- A few times this year I’ve been a little critical of the effort the Ducks give, this game was the complete opposite. The Ducks did all the little things right tonight and played like a hungry team. Stats like a 38-21 rebounding margin, 7 blocks, 18 assists, and 16 second half points are all things for Dana Altman to be very pleased about.
Dillon Brooks- Certainly one of the best games that I can remember from Brooks. It seemed as if he had a role in every singe possession. Most impressive to me was his rebounding efforts as well as the passing display. With a career high in assists with seven, Brooks certainly had himself a night. Oregon needs this attacking Brooks moving forward.
Oregon top performers:
Dillon Brooks. 15 points, 10 rebounds, 7 assists.
Tyler Dorsey. 12 points, 4 rebounds, 3 assists.
Casey Benson. 9 points (3-5 3 pointers), 6 assists, 1 turnover.
Thursday, Jan. 14th. At Utah