EUGENE, Oregon — No. 11 Oregon frustrated a defensive-minded Cal team, 86-63, from Matthew Knight Arena on Thursday night. Jordan Bell was the star of the night with a career-high 26 points. The Ducks push their impressive record to 17-2, 6-0 in Pac-12.
With the suffocating victory over the Bears, the Ducks extend their record home win-streak to 37 games. Oregon is only behind No. 2 Kansas for the longest streak in college basketball (48). Combined, the Jayhawks and Ducks have won 85 straight home games.
Overall, Oregon has now won 15 straight games. They have not lost since the Maui Invitational against Georgetown on November 21.
Dillon Brooks, Payton Pritchard, Tyler Dorsey, Dylan Ennis, and Bell drew the start for head coach Dana Altman.
Every night Oregon has a different leader. On Thursday, it was Bell’s turn. He led the way with a career-high 26 points.
“When we got it down low to him, he scored every time,” said Dorsey. “He finishes and he's very athletic.”
The big man made 11 of 12 shots from the field, including four of five free throw attempts. He ignited the defense with his six boards, four blocked shots, three steals, and two assists.
“That's just a great line,” stated Altman. “A few more rebounds and that would have been a spectacular line.”
The story of the first half was sixth man, Casey Benson. The junior entered the game averaging just 4.5 PPG. Yet, he exploded off the bench for 12 points on perfect shooting from the floor. The southpaw knocked down all four of his attempts from beyond the arc in the first 20 minutes.
“I was looking for him,” Dorsey said. “I knew he (Benson) was going to make it and I was going to get an assist.”
Benson finished his huge night with 15 points, including two dimes, and a stolen pass. The junior did not miss a shot, drilling all five of his 3-point attempts.
“The key to the game was points off turnovers,” said Benson.
Chris Boucher’s presence only strengthens the bench. How many teams past or present possessed the nation’s leading shot-blocker on their bench? That is a luxury that could go a long way in March.
The SI cover boy registered five blocks, four boards, two points, and a stolen pass.
Speaking of Oregon’s wealth of depth on their bench, Roman Sorkin continues to earn his stripes. The junior from Israel has illustrated great touch from deep, alongside a willingness to battle for boards down low. The bench is sure to benefit from his consistent development.
A scary moment occurred with less than a minute remaining in the first half. Brooks limped to the locker room with an apparent lower leg injury to his left foot. The same foot that required offseason surgery, and forced DB to miss the beginning of the season. Brooks did not return. Stay tuned to ATQ for further details.
“It takes a little wind out of your sails,” said Altman. “He'll be evaluated the next couple of days and we'll see where we're at.”
All nine players in Oregon’s rotation scored.
After slowing down a bit lately, Dorsey concluded his evening with 16 points. The sharpshooter added six assists and four boards.
Brooks recorded 10 points, two steals, two dimes, and a board before his early exit.
Overall, the Ducks shot 58 percent from the floor and 45.8 percent from deep. Oregon’s defense forced 20 turnovers, opposed to 10 Duck miscues.
Next up for No. 11 Oregon (17-2, 6-0 Pac-12) is a quick turnaround against Stanford (10-8, 2-4 Pac-12) from MKA on Saturday afternoon. Tip is set for 3:00 p.m. PCT. Oregon is currently 12-0 at home this season. They’ll look to continue their two-year home unbeaten run in less than 48 hours.
Casey Benson Scorching The Net
Chris Boucher’s Ferocious Blocked Shot
Roman Sorkin Buries Triple
Jordan Bell Scores With The Foul
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