EUGENE, Oregon — Chris Boucher led No. 11 Oregon past Stanford, 69-52, on Saturday afternoon from Matthew Knight Arena. It was the Ducks 16th straight victory, securing a school record for the Oregon basketball program.
The Ducks also extended their record home win-streak to 38 games. Oregon is only behind No. 2 Kansas for the longest streak in college basketball (49).
Boucher wasted little time asserting himself with the starters. With Dillon Brooks out of the line-up with a sprained foot, Boucher returned to the starting five. The nation’s leading shot blocker was embracing the sixth man role prior to his spot-start.
“I felt like everybody knows that if we lose one guy, we still got to play and everybody has to step up,” Boucher stated. “We know that Dillon is a big part of our team, so when we lose somebody like that we know we've got to bring more to the table.”
The Montreal native exploded for 16 points, 10 rebounds, one steal, and one blocked shot. He was all over the glass, exploding to the rim routinely. He is quite the luxury “fill-in” off the bench.
“You experience more of the game, but I felt like it didn't really change what I had to do,” said Boucher. “I still had to rebound, block shots and have a lot of energy."
The other four starters remained the same for head coach Dana Altman with Payton Pritchard, Tyler Dorsey, Dylan Ennis, and Jordan Bell.
“I think offensively we started the game really well, our ball movement was pretty good, but in the second half the turnovers just took away what should've been a good performance for us,” Altman said. “I told the guys that it's January 21 and we still want to be going in the right direction and we didn't take a positive step today."
Four of the Ducks’ five starters scored in double figures. Ennis amassed 15 points, alongside four boards and a dime.
Dorsey and Bell combined for 22 points (11 each). They efficiently nailed nine of their 15 total attempts.
Pritchard had a solid all-around game with eight rebounds, seven assists, and six points.
"We're not worried about any streak, we are worried about one game at a time and getting better each game,” responded Pritchard. “We just want to make a run in the Pac-12 tournament and the NCAA tournament."
Kavell Bigby-Williams played well off the bench with five points, five rebounds, two blocked shots, and a stolen pass.
Oregon entered the contest leading the nation in average blocked shots per game with eight. It certainly doesn’t hurt to have three big men capable of blocking anything near the rim.
“We've got the best shot blockers in the country with Jordan, Chris and Kavell,” Pritchard said. “Us guards really have to pressure them and take away easy threes and easy little 15-footers, so if we do that the rest will take care of itself.”
Marcus Allen (not the former NFL star) was the only player to score in double figures for Stanford. The guard recorded 13 points on 50 percent shooting from the floor.
Overall, the Cardinal made just 20 of their 62 attempts (32.3) from the field.
Grant Verhoeven scored nine points, including five boards. Yet, Stanford was struggling with every possession. They needed to play a perfect game to even keep it close.
Cardinal head coach Jerod Haase had noting but praise for the Pac-12’s big three.
“All three of those teams (Oregon, UCLA and Arizona) are such great talents. The individual talent is off the chart with this Oregon team,” stated Haase. “When you are playing them you have to find ways collectively to punch back from that. If we could get the entire team to play with the effort that Marcus Allen played with today we would be a lot better. That is a cultural thing that we are still building."
The Ducks were uncharacteristically sloppy on Saturday. Oregon turned the ball over 19 times, opposed to the Cardinal 13.
“I'm disappointed. We were sloppy,” said Altman.
Next up for No. 11 Oregon (18-2, 7-0 Pac-12) is a tough road test against Utah (13-5, 4-2 Pac-12) from the Jon M. Huntsman Center in Salt Lake City on Thursday night. Tip is set for 7:30 p.m. PCT. Dillon Brooks is questionable to return for the Thursday tilt.
Oregon will look to extend their school-record win streak to 17 games. They have not lost since the Maui Invitational against Georgetown on November 21.
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