As finals week comes to a close, the Oregon Ducks (5-3) face the Colorado State Rams (4-5) in efforts to begin another long winning streak at home.
The Ducks had plenty of time to regroup and should be eager to play again after a stinging loss a week ago. A last-gasp heave from half court saw Oregon’s 46-game winning streak end, leaving spectators speechless.
Boise State’s Lexus Williams hit the game-winning three-pointer to lift the Broncos to a 73-70 win over Oregon. A 16-2 run by the Broncos in the second half provided an opportunity as the Ducks were in control.
After surrendering the lead late, the Ducks scrapped their way back into the game with Payton Pritchard leading the way. Pritchard led the Ducks with 28 points, including the game-tying layup to even the score at 70 apiece.
Overtime seemed apparent before Williams quickly dribbled up the court for a miraculous buzzer-beater to propel Boise State to victory.
Oregon has lost three of their last four games as coach Dana Altman is still piecing his team together in a rebuilding year. Defense remains a focus as the physicality needs to pick up for the Ducks.
Coach Altman expected a spirited effort after a disappointing performance in the Phil Knight Invitational. Energy and enthusiasm to play were evident in losses to Connecticut and Oklahoma. The team is young though chemistry is still lacking eight games into the season.
Freshman star, Troy Brown, did not play for Oregon against Boise State after leaving the game late against Oklahoma. Concussion symptoms kept Brown out of the lineup, and his status is unknown for Friday’s game.
Pritchard and Elijah Brown were the only two players with double figures in scoring for Oregon last week. Boise State had three players with double-digit points. If Brown is unavailable again, Paul White, Kenny Wooten, and Mikyle McIntosh need to have significant efforts.
Defense and ball control will come under scrutiny as Oregon allowed 11 points on second-chance opportunities last week. The Ducks also committed 18 turnovers on offense which helped the Broncos stay in the game.
Colorado State has lost three of their last five games heading into the matchup with Oregon. After starting the season with consecutive victories, the Rams lost three-straight, highlighted by a loss to Florida State in the Jamaica Classic.
The Rams did score a victory over a Pac-12 opponent, handing the Buffaloes their first loss of the season.
Prentiss Nixon currently leads the Rams scoring nearly 16 points per game. Che Bob is second on the team and is the top rebounder on the team with 9.3 rebounds per game. Oregon must keep an eye on Jeremiah Paige along with Nixon as the two helped Colorado State defeat Colorado at home.
The Rams could take advantage of another rebuilding team in the Ducks the same way the team did against the Buffaloes.
Larry Eustachy is in his sixth season as head coach of the Rams as the team is coming off an appearance in the NIT last season.
With a streak at an end, Oregon’s 46-game home wins is the longest in school history. The previous mark was 23. Oregon’s loss at home to Boise State was the first time since 2014.
Friday night’s game against Colorado will begin at 7 p.m. with a telecast on Pac-12 Network.
As the quarter ends on campus, the Ducks look to rebound and set forth another long winning streak at Matthew Knight Arena. Hopefully, the team did not ponder last week’s loss too much or face suffering a third-straight defeat.