Eugene, OR – The Oregon Ducks got their offense together in a 58-point second half as they ran away from the Colorado State Rams in a 96-66 win in front of 7,153 fans in Eugene. Graduate transfer Elijah Brown shot 6-of-6 including 4-of-4 on three-pointers in an 18 point, six assist second half. Brown led six Ducks in double-figures with 20 points. Prentiss Nixon led the Rams with 25 points, hitting four three-pointers.
After taking a 38-32 lead into halftime Oregon shot 65 percent in the second half to seal the game. They were much more aggressive on the boards, out-rebounding the Rams 18-6 in the half. The Ducks pulled down 12 offensive rebounds in the game which resulted in 23 second-chance points.
Oregon was also more aggressive on offense in this contest, taking the ball to the basket at the start of the game instead of relying on shooting from deep. The penetration helped free up better shots from distance. Their defense was also much improved as they forced Colorado State into 16 turnovers and helped create transition opportunities. 6-9 freshman Kenny Wooten was a recipient of those opportunities slamming home three dunks on the way to 13 points in 14 minutes of play.
6-7 freshman Troy Brown Jr. returned to action from a one game absence due to a concussion. Brown pushed the action from the start and finished the first half with 10 points, eight rebounds and three assists. His time was limited in the second half due to foul trouble but still managed a double-double with 12 points and 10 rebounds while adding five assists. 6-9 Paul White (12 points), point guard Payton Pritchard (11) and 6-7 MiKyle McIntosh (10) rounded out the Ducks in double-figures.
Oregon shot an efficient 11-of-27 from long distance as they had better looks than in previous games and for the most part took good shots. This Oregon team doesn’t have the rim protectors or shot-blockers that they had the previous three years. In this game Wooten had their only blocked shot. For this team to be successful they need to play strong defense, create transition opportunities and use their penetrating ability to create good shots. Tonight they did all of that and ended a four game slump in which their only win was in overtime against a mediocre DePaul squad.
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