EUGENE, Oregon — The Ducks showed vast improvement from their last game, as Oregon cruised past Prairie View A&M 100-67 on the back of true freshman Troy Brown. The Nevada product poured in a team-high 17 points, alongside nine rebounds and four assists. With the victory, UO extends their nation-best home win-streak to 44 games at Matthew Knight Arena.
After being outscored 40-28 in the second half by Coppin State on Friday, Oregon would not allow a repeat of history on Monday night.
The Duck offense exploded in the final 20 minutes, outscoring Prairie View A&M 63-39.
“Personally, I felt like we did a better job defensively,” said the true freshman Troy Brown. “Rebounding, I don’t feel like we did enough. Overall, I thought we brought a better intensity.”
UO shot 56 percent (35-of-63) from the floor, including 11-of-27 (40 percent) from downtown. However, the Ducks shot an incredible 61 percent in the second half (23-of-38) and 46 percent (5-of-11) from 3-point land.
It may have seemed like Oregon won the rebounding margin vs the Panthers, 38-36. Yet, it was quite the contrary if you look closer at the numbers.
“We didn’t do a good job on the boards tonight,” said Dana Altman. “They had 20 second-chance points and 16 offensive rebounds. I was really disappointed in that. In fact, at halftime it was 10-0.”
The head man knows his team still has a lot of growing and maturing to do.
“A lot of work to do,” said Altman. “We knew that on November 13. But, it was a step in the right direction.”
Troy Brown led the way with a game-high 17 points. He added nine rebounds and four assists on 6-of-9 from the floor and 5-for-6 from the charity stripe. Most importantly, he did not commit a turnover in a team-high 28 minutes on the court.
“He did a nice job,” said the UO head coach. “I like the fact that he got nine rebounds. He got to the free throw line. No turnovers. He did some nice things.”
The freshman literally led the Ducks in points, rebounds and assists on Monday. Brown continues to impress on a minute-to-minute basis, as he adjusts to the speed of the college game.
“Getting adjusted to it, it’s a slow process,” said the Las Vegas native. “Coach Altman had us down here since June. When I first got here, it was really hard to adjust. The passes I was trying to make weren’t there. A lot of turnovers.”
Nevertheless, the 5-star prospect is thankful for Altman’s teachings since he arrived on campus over the summer.
“He’s helped me a lot from a point guard standpoint,” Brown replied. “Making the simple play and not always trying to make the spectacular AAU pass. Coach Altman always puts pressure on me about my turnovers and assist ratio.”
Two Ducks debuted on Monday night, as Paul White and M.J. Cage entered the fold. The junior transfer from Georgetown missed Game 1 with a foot issue, while the redshirt freshman is earning his time on the floor after having second thoughts about playing this season.
MJ Cage checks into game for first time in Duck career! The true freshman buries his first Duck point pic.twitter.com/f2j73lM3Po— Quack Addict (@TheQuackFiend) November 14, 2017
“Paul hit some buckets,” Altman replied. “Had some big rebounds. It was good to get M.J. on the floor. It was a good start for both of them."
The Chicago product didn’t waste much time acclimating himself to Oregon’s offense. White tallied a career-high 16 points on 5-of-8 from the floor and 4-of-7 from 3-point territory. He secured six rebounds down low, as well.
His first bucket in green and yellow was a triple that he drilled on his very first attempt off the bench. He had eight points in the first half on 2-of-5 shooting from deep. White has serious potential that could be reached over the next two years.
Speaking of career firsts, freshman Victor Bailey Jr. registered his first college points in the first half. He had had seven at the break after shooting 1-of-3 from 3-point territory.
Bailey concluded his evening with 15 points on 50 percent (5-of-10) from the field. The Texan was perfect from the line (4-of-4) while adding an assist and a stolen pass. He was extremely active on the offensive end.
Oregon concluded the game with five players in double figures, as confident true freshman Abu Kigab registered his first career double-digit performance. The active Canadian had 10 points (3-of-4), three boards and a swat.
The Ducks were 12-of-25 from the field in the first 20 minutes, including 6-of-16 from downtown (37 percent). Yet, Prairie View A&M led the rebounding margin by two, 18-16.
“The biggest thing I noticed was our defensive intensity,” said Troy Brown. “Picking up full court. In the first half, we got lackadaisical. But with VJ (Bailey) at the top, Keith up top, it really helped us push and force turnovers. By the time they scored, there was like 10 seconds left on the shot clock.”
The Oregon bench outscored Prairie A&M 55-32. Meanwhile, UO doubled the Panthers’ points in the paint, 44-22.
Payton Pritchard netted seven points, including his first 3-pointer of the season to open the second half. He was 3-for-7 from the field in 28 minutes of action. The sophomore added four boards, four dimes and two stolen passes in the victory.
MiKyle McIntosh found his stroke in the second half of this contest. The senior transfer finished 4-of-6 with nine points and two dimes. He provided a spark on defense with four boards and three blocked shots.
The high scorer from Friday’s game, Roman Sorkin played just 11 scoreless minutes. He will have to do a better job on the glass for Altman.
“Our guys got to change their mentality and think defensively,” Altman stated after the win. “They’re not thinking that way right now.”
After tallying just two points in his Oregon debut on Friday, Elijah Brown responded with six early including his first triple in a Duck uniform.
The senior finished with 12 points on 3-of-11 from the floor. After the game, Brown was back on the court working on his game. Those are the little things you love to see from your leaders.
There is much to be desired from the defense, but recording 11 blocked shots is quite the team accomplishment.
Kenny Wooten played 15 minutes for the Ducks. The true freshman accumulated four points (2-of-4), three boards, three blocked shots, an assist and a steal.
“Kenny has a chance to block a few. MiKyle had a couple tonight,” said Altman. “We’ve got to be active. We’ve got to challenge shots. We’ve got to do a better job of fighting.”
Sophomore Keith Smith registered nine points on a perfect night from the floor (4-of-4). He added three boards, two assists and a blocked shot.
Most impressively, Oregon was dominant in fast break points. The Ducks scored 19 in transition on Monday, while allowing none.
“I think we want to play even faster than that,” said Smith. “We want to push it a lot more.”
Cage concluded his Oregon debut with two boards (one offensive) and one point in four minutes of action.
Zachary Hamilton led the way for Prairie View A&M with a game-high 23 points. The forward was 7-of-21 from the floor, including securing four rebounds and an assist.
Next up for Oregon (2-0) is Alabama State on Friday night from MKA. The Ducks will be looking to extend their incredible nation-best home win-streak to 45 games. Tip is slated for 8:00 p.m. PT via the Pac-12 Network.