Simple play is the strength for the Ducks. To get contributions from all sides of the basket can come in handy. As in the case on Thursday against Arizona State, the Ducks did just enough to ensure victory.
Elijah Brown and MiKyle McIntosh combined for 35 points in Oregon’s 75-68 win over Arizona State. Despite losing six games this season by single digits, outrebounding and holding opponents under 70 points has given Oregon a higher success rate.
Kenny Wooten made his presence known on defense with four blocks, bringing his total to 77 on the season. The block party was big after Wooten did not factor much on the road against USC and UCLA with zero blocks.
The Sun Devils could have come away with the victory, but the Ducks kept one contributor from making an impact. Senior, Tra Holder, went scoreless on the night, as the shots did not fall in his favor. Holder has not defeated the Ducks throughout his collegiate career and will have to wait for the Pac-12 Tournament to play Oregon for his last chance potentially.
A win on Thursday was much needed after a disappointing effort in Los Angeles the week before. Saturday’s contest is critical as a resume-boosting opportunity arises with a ranked opponent coming into town.
But for Arizona, a dark cloud hovers the basketball program after recent events.
The Wildcats are coming off an overtime win against the Beavers in Corvallis but without Allonzo Trier. He was recently ruled ineligible by the NCAA after testing positive for a banned substance. Arizona is appealing the suspension.
For Trier, this is not the first time facing discipline as he missed the first 19 games of last season for testing positive for a banned substance.
Now, coach Sean Miller is reported to have discussed payment of locking up a current freshman, Deandre Ayton, to play for the Wildcats.
With Trier’s status in the air and the current state of the Wildcats, the Pac-12 Tournament is up for grabs at this point. Oregon needs to translate success at home onto the road.
Arizona does not want to have the same results the last time the two teams met in Eugene. In a top-15 showdown, Oregon demolished Arizona, 85-58, as a three-point barrage by the Ducks gave the Wildcats no chance to establish any rhythm.
Oregon will recognize seniors Evan Gross, Roman Sorkin, and graduate transfers Brown and McIntosh. Senior managers Robbie Ellis and Chris Reeves will also get recognition in the home finale.
Tipoff begins at 7:15 p.m. PST with a telecast on ESPN.