EUGENE, Oregon - No. 5 Oregon is off and running against Army, 49-31, in their first half of action in 2016-17. The atmosphere from Matthew Knight Arena on Veterans Day is electric.
Oregon is ranked No. 5 in the nation entering the season. It is their highest rank in school history entering a campaign. The Ducks were also predicted to win the Pac-12 Conference for the first time in program history, as well. The excitement level from MKA matched that sentiment tonight, and then some.
Casey Benson, Tyler Dorsey, Dylan Ennis, Chris Boucher and Jordan Bell drew the start for Dana Altman. Entering his seventh season, the coach just solidified a seven-year contract extension earlier Friday.
Dorsey opened the season on the right foot with a 4-point play for the first Oregon points of 2016. He was fouled after drilling a triple in front of the Army bench. The Duck offensive scoring barrage had only just begun. He leads all scorers at the half with 11 points.
Kavell Bigby-Williams is a name you’re going to hear quite often this season. The junior college transfer is an impact player with a non-stop motor. After falling into foul trouble, the big man will return in the second half. The aggressor exited with seven points, three boards and three fouls.
Keith Smith poured in four points in the first half. The freshman from Seattle scored his first collegiate bucket on a runner in the lane.
Boucher has been a force already. The big man is doing it all with 10 points, four rebounds, and a block. He is 1 for 3 from downtown.
The Duck bench has combined to score 18 points in the first half. Roman Sorkin and Bigby-Williams lead the men off the bench with seven points each.
The Pac-12 favorite is shooting 40.5 percent from the field. The Ducks are 5 of 16 from deep. Meanwhile, Oregon free throw shooting is 14 of 15.
Oregon star Dillon Brooks did not start against Army tonight. He will miss the start of the season after having foot surgery in September. His timetable is yet to be determined.
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