Brooklyn, NY – The Oregon Ducks lost their second game at the Progressive Legends Classic falling to No. 14 VCU 77-63. Point guard Briante Weber led the Rams to the win with 11 points, a career-high 10 assists and four steals. Fellow guard Melvin Johnson was VCU’s top scorer with 19 points, hitting 3-of-6 three-pointers.
The Ducks played the game with only seven scholarship players as starter Dwayne Benjamin missed the game with a sprained ankle he suffered last night. That put even more pressure on the four Oregon freshman, who for the most part held up very well against the relentless pressure of VCU’s defense. Unfortunately for the Ducks Joseph Young did not react very well. Young was held to 2-of-13 shooting, including 1-of-9 from deep, and committed seven turnovers in the loss. In the two games in Brooklyn Young shot a combined 7-of-29 in front of many NBA scouts evaluating his potential as a second round draft pick.
Oregon missed out on at least four transition opportunities which could have kept them in the game. At one point early in the second half they had a chance to take the lead but Young came up short on a three-pointer. Three of the freshman played very well providing a bright glimpse in the future. Casey Benson started in place of Benjamin and scored 11 points on 3-of-5 long distance shooting and did not commit a turnover in 32 minutes. Ahmaad Rorie also played 32 minutes, looked confident shooting as well (10 points) and had only one turnover. Dillon Brooks (15 points) led Oregon in scoring and played tough throughout despite getting two of his shots blocked inside late in the game. This Oregon team plays very hard but needs solid performances from all their available players to succeed against quality competition.
Both teams committed 20 turnovers, partly a result of strong defense on both sides, and partly due to poor offensive execution. VCU had a +9 rebounding edge and shot 50 percent from the field mostly due to their athletic guards ability to penetrate. Neither team shot particularly well from long distance with VCU going 6-of-17 and Oregon 9-of-27.
Oregon now heads home to face Portland State and Concordia before the schedule gets tougher with a home game against Mississippi and a trip to Chicago to face Illinois. VCU heads on the road to play Old Dominion and Illinois State before an interesting tussle with No. 8 Virginia at home.
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