EUGENE, Oregon — The No. 13 Oregon Ducks avoided disaster with a 71-70 win over the Arizona State Sun Devils from Matthew Knight Arena on Thursday night. Dillon Brooks led the Duck charge with a team-high 27 points.
With the victory, Oregon extended their record home win-streak to 39 games. The Ducks are only behind No. 3 Kansas for the longest streak in college basketball (51).
Trap game, averted. With the No. 5 Wildcats on the horizon, Oregon could not afford to overlook the Sun Devils...but they almost did.
The quack attack was looking to begin anew after their 17-game win streak was snapped on Saturday at Colorado. Nevertheless, the former Duke legend and current ASU head coach, Bobby Hurley, had his team ready.
Arizona State led Oregon, 28-25, entering the locker room at halftime.
Dillon Brooks found his rhythm at the right time. The All-American candidate scored the final 12 points for Oregon, including the go-ahead triple, 69-66, with 1:30 remaining in the game. He scored 21 of his 27 points in the second half.
He made nine of 14 shots from the floor, including three from the charity stripe. Brooks ripped down six boards, four dimes and intercepted a pass. After starting slow, he finished in the biggest way possible.
“Coach just said you take whatever shot you like,” said Brooks. “Most shots, I liked.”
Four of five Duck starters scored in double figures.
Jordan Bell recorded the double-double with 13 points and 11 rebounds. He added three blocked shots and two assists.
Dylan Ennis continues to provide limitless energy and leadership. He was all over the floor, even if the stats may not illustrate his true impact. The Villanova transfer scored 10 points, alongside six boards, and three dimes. He kept a great deal of balls alive on the offensive glass that led to Oregon buckets. Ennis continues to impress. His value to this team is immeasurable.
Tyler Dorsey needs to score his average of 12.2 PPG for Oregon to be at their best. When he disappears, the Duck offense suffers. The guard came up big with 11 points. However, he made just two of eight from the field. He was one for five from deep.
“We took some bad threes,” said head coach Dana Altman. “It kind of threw our rhythm off offensively. We were standing around. Our ball movement wasn’t good. Disappointed in the way we played offensively in the first half.”
Shannon Evans II kept ASU alive. Seemingly unconscious from the floor, the junior guard finished with a game-high 28 points. He drilled 10 of 16 from the field, including three of six from beyond the arc.
When it wasn’t Evans drilling big shots, it was Torian Graham and Tra Holder doing the damage.
Holder scored 17 points on 60-percent shooting from the floor.
Graham fired up 10 shots from deep, hitting just three. Yet, he registered 13 big points.
ASU’s big three combined to register 58 total points.
“We were trying to guard them and we just didn’t do a very good job,” stated Altman. “We weren’t (our best) tonight, but hopefully by Saturday at one o’clock, we will be.”
3-point shooting was at a minimum on Thursday. Neither team impressed from deep, combining for 17 of 50. Both teams shot 34 percent from downtown.
The Ducks out-rebounded ASU, 40-31. Yet, the turnover margin did not play a factor as both teams were disciplined with the rock. Oregon turned the ball over just eight times, opposed to the Sun Devils’ six turnovers.
Next up for No. 13 Oregon (20-3, 9-1 Pac-12) is the unofficial Pac-12 Championship against No. 5 Arizona (21-2, 10-0 Pac-12) on Saturday afternoon.
“They’re not going to lay down,” said Brooks of the upcoming match-up with Arizona. “We ended their (home) winning streak and they’re going to want to end ours.”
The biggest game to date will take place at the friendly confines of Matthew Knight Arena. Tip is set for 1:00 p.m. PCT.
Oregon Escapes Disaster
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