MAUI, Hawaii — The No. 13 Oregon Ducks fell to Georgetown, 65-61, in the Maui Invitational on Monday afternoon. After trailing by 18 in the first half, Oregon made a desperate 22-4 run in the second half that fell just short.
The Hoyas withstood a furious second half comeback by the Ducks. And now, Georgetown will play No. 16 Wisconsin in the next round of the Maui Invite.
Dana Altman made no changes to his starting unit. Casey Benson, Tyler Dorsey, Dylan Ennis, Chris Boucher and Jordan Bell drew the start. Even with Oregon star Dillon Brooks back in the fold, Altman was not going to rush with him.
Georgetown opened the tournament on fire. A third into the first half, the Hoyas were leading Oregon, 9-1.
It’s ironic. The Ducks didn’t score their first field goal until Brooks entered the game, nearly six minutes into the contest (13:55). Payton Pritchard began his huge day with a triple. The freshman finished with a team-high 18 points.
Oregon shot 39 percent from the field, and just 23 percent from deep. The Ducks hit four of their 17 attempted shots from downtown on Monday.
The largest lead for Georgetown was 18 points. The Hoyas led, 35-17, with a minute left in the first half. After a buzzer-beating 3-pointer by Rodney Pryor, GU entered the locker room at halftime leading big, 38-21.
The Ducks opened the second half with an intensity yet to be seen in 2016. For a majority of the second half, the Ducks were controlling the game. With 8:48 remaining, Brooks scored under the basket, 43-42, for their first lead of the day. Oregon went on an incredible 22-4 run to open the second half, but could not sustain it.
"As great a comeback as it was, we weren't tough enough to finish it," said Altman.
Georgetown answered back with the next seven straight points, 49-43, to reassume the lead.
Oregon possessed the lead for a mere 21 seconds. The problem was the Ducks exerted too much energy in the comeback to maintain the lead. A valiant fight to the end drew the Ducks close, but it just wasn’t enough to get over the hump.
"Give them credit. They came out fast and we made some mistakes at the start of the game, so we have to limit those," Benson said.
The Hoyas’ interior was stellar with 10 blocked shots. Pryor (4) and Akoy Agau (3) led the way. Pryor scored a game-high 26 points, including 10 boards for the impressive double-double.
As for Oregon, the Ducks had nobody but Pritchard in double figures.
The big men were a huge part of the Duck second half surge. Bell finished with nine points, seven rebounds, three blocks, and an assist. Boucher was a monster down low. He grabbed 13 boards, including seven points and five blocks.
Brooks will play in short spurts to start his season, as he did Monday. He recorded his first dime and steal of the year, before exiting minutes later. He re-entered in the second half to score the momentary go-ahead points for Oregon. He also hit a deep triple with 3.8 seconds in the game, cutting the deficit to two, 63-61.
The Canadian product made three of his eight shots from the floor. He finished with eight points, three boards, two assists, and a steal. The loss definitely clouds a solid debut performance.
"We held him to the 10 to 15 minutes that we thought we'd play him," Altman stated. "And he was mad because he wanted to play more."
Dylan Ennis finished with nine points, four rebounds, and four assists.
Next up is the consolation bracket of the Maui Invite for the Ducks. They will tip at 10:30 a.m. PCT on Tuesday morning against Tennessee. The Volunteers lost to No. 16 Wisconsin on Monday.
Back-to-back Oregon Blocks
Jordan Bell Monster Dunk
Georgetown’s First Half Buzzer-Beater
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