EUGENE, Oregon — No. 7 Oregon electrified the Matthew Knight Arena crowd with a dominant victory, 79-61, over Utah. With the win, the Ducks extended their nation-best home win-streak to 41 games. Dillon Brooks led the way with a game-high 20 points.
The Ducks move their impressive record to 23-4 on the year, and 12-2 in Pac-12 play. Arizona needs to slip up once for UO to regain the top-spot in conference.
After defeating the Utes in Salt Lake City earlier in the year, the Ducks completed the sweep on Thursday night.
“All-in-all it was a good win,” said head coach Dana Altman. “Our defense got some things going with our activity and blocked shots. But, we didn't finish the first half well.”
The energy level was palpable, as the Ducks were “glowing” from their electric green glow-in-the-dark uniforms. They could’ve played this game without lights. These were the coolest jerseys I have ever seen in person.
“Remember when you had two uniforms? Home and away?” joked Altman. “Life was a lot simpler. I didn't even know we had those green until somebody showed me this morning.”
After going 18-0 at MKA last season, the Ducks are seeking their second consecutive unbeaten home season. Currently, they reside at an ultra impressive 16-0. Their last home loss came at the hands of Arizona in January, 2015 (80-62).
Oregon shot 53.4 percent from the field, including 7-for-19 from downtown. The Webfoots shot 90.9 percent from the charity stripe, nailing 10 of 11 from the line.
UO discouraged Utah players from driving to the rim with 10 blocked shots. Jordan Bell and Chris Boucher combined for eight total blocks. The block of the night came from Bell chasing down a Utah breakaway (video below).
The biggest lead of the game for Oregon came in the second half, 76-50, when they led by 26 points. Dillon Brooks amplified the lead with a thunderous dunk that brought down the house.
“Oh my goodness,” said Brooks in reference to his slam.
He followed that the next possession with a triple from deep.
“Dillon Brooks against UCLA,” said Jordan Bell in reference to the best dunk he has witnessed this season. Although, Thursday’s was close. “Definitely, Dillon.”
Tyler Dorsey led the way at the half with a game-high 10 points. The sophomore guard has been on a torrid stretch of late. In his last three games, TD is averaging 20.3 PPG. He finished with 16 points for Oregon.
Bell was second in scoring with nine points at the break. The Ducks led Utah, 41-25, by 16 points without their star player Kyle Kuzma. Bell did not miss a shot from the field in the first half (4-for-4).
“When he gets one-on-one, nobody can guard him,” said Payton Pritchard.
He concluded with 17 points, seven boards and five incredible blocked shots.
“Me and Chris (Boucher) tried to pick up the defensive tempo in the second half,” Bell said.
Brooks led the way with a game-high 20 points. The Wooden nominee notched his eighth 20-point game of the year.
The Duck star was clearly trying to get to the rim early in the game. He actually elected to drive the lane on a few open 3-pointers, for arguably tougher shots. Yet, he was opening up lanes and shots for others.
Then, came his monster dunk....(Video posted below).
True freshman Payton Pritchard scored nine points, alongside seven dimes, six boards, and a stolen pass.
The Utes were missing 15.7 PPG and 10.2 RPG in 30.7 MPG from their star, Kuzma.
“It’s not that much,” Altman stated. “For one game, guys step up. One guy can go crazy. Now, if he’s out eight or nine games it’s a different story. They got good players. They have good depth. I didn't find out until 20 minutes before the game.”
With the huge loss, Utah big men David Collette and Jayce Johnson collectively picked up the slack with a combined 14 first-half points. The duo concluded with 26 points total. No other Utah player scored in double figures.
“We have got to do a better job rebounding and on second-chance points,” said Altman. “We’re expending all this effort defensively, then allowing offensive rebounds.”
Next up for No. 7 Oregon (23-4, 12-2 Pac-12) is the rematch with a stout offensive rebounding Colorado (15-11, 5-8 Pac-12) team in the final home game of the 2016-17 regular season. The Ducks have revenge on the mind after the Buffaloes handed UO their first Pac-12 loss this season in Boulder.
“We have to play better,” Altman exclaimed. “Last time (in Boulder), we didn't play well.”
Senior Night will tip approximately at noon PCT on Saturday from MKA. Oregon will be seeking their historic 42nd straight victory at home.
Dillon Brooks Posterizes Utah Defender
Jordan Bell Block Party
Dillon Brooks Shocked By His Own Dunk
Chris Boucher Throws It Down With Authority
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