Eugene, OR – The Oregon Ducks are back home to take on the Stanford Cardinal, after a sweep on the road against the Pac-12 mountain schools. Stanford is trying to sweep the season series against Oregon after winning the first contest at home on a buzzer beater. Tonight had a different result, with Oregon jumping out to an early and holding onto it from start to finish. De’Vion Harmon led the Ducks to a 68-60 victory, scoring a season-high 21 points at Matthew Knight Arena in front of 6,952 in attendance. Oregon now has won four games in a row and remain in second place in the Pac-12.
In the first half, Oregon stretched its lead to 14-8 after a Harmon lay-in, in which he drove left, hesitated while looking his defender off, before finishing. Both teams had an off-shooting night, especially from the perimeter, except Harmon found his rhythm early. His teammates were able to spot the junior on the perimeter for open looks. He knocked down two first half 3-pointers and finished 3-for-6 shooting 3s for the game. Oregon as a team, typically shoots the ball well on their home floor, but only shot 32 percent from distance against the Cardinal. Harmon scored his 21 points on 8-for-15 from the field. He had two steals and only one assist to his four turnovers.
N’Faly Dante helped the Ducks during a few key stretches in the first half and the opening of the second. His versatility on the offensive end, whether being involved in pick and roll situations or utilizing his low-post skills, makes for a tough matchup. In 19 minutes, he scored 12 points (5-for-6 FG), grabbed seven rebounds, added two steals and a blocked shot. Dante at 6 feet 11 inches, with a lengthy wingspan, has shown at times he can make his presence known at the defensive end, by blocking shots, and making it difficult for opponents to navigate the pick and roll, displaying active hands and being able to help and recover quickly. After leading 32-24 at the break, Dante had a ferocious slam, after being left wide open underneath the basket, giving Oregon their biggest lead at 40-26 with 16:37 remaining in the game.
Stanford countered with a 12-1 run of their own to get back in the game. They held Oregon without a field goal for six and a half minutes. Maxime Raynaud, capped the run with an offensive rebound and scored on the putback, cutting Oregon’s lead to 41-38 with just over 10 minutes left in the contest. Raynaud, a 7-1 center from Paris, France made the most of his 13 minutes off the bench. He had 11 points (5-for-8 FG) and five rebounds. Stanford’s bench outscored the Ducks 25-7 with Brandon Angel being another huge contributor, recording a double-double. The 6-6 sophomore scored 10 points (4-for-8 FG) and collecting 10 rebounds. Also, the Cardinal had the edge in the rebounding department by the count of 37-30.
In the final 10 minutes of the game, Will Richardson stepped up, after struggling shooting throughout the game. He went 1-of-8 on 3s and shot 3-for-14 from the field, but when Oregon needed scoring he came through. He stopped the Cardinal scoring run, after the lead dwindled to three points, by scoring an off-balance shot in the paint, plus drawing the foul. Moments later, Richardson crossed his defender up, before stepping back for the triple. He was instrumental late in the game as the Cardinal kept trying to piece together a late rally. The 6-5 guard finished with 12 points, six assists with no turnovers, four rebounds, two steals and went a perfect 5-for-5 from the strike. The Ducks collectively shot 87 percent from the free throw line.
Harrison Ingram, a true freshman, had moments showing why he is viewed as a potential first round selection for the 2022 NBA Draft. At 6-8, he can guard multiple positions, including the primary ball handler. Offensively, the small forward has a nice shooting stroke and can spot-up in transition for the 3-pointer. Ingram does struggle in isolation to beat his defender, but managed 10 points (4-for-10 FG), four rebounds and four assists. Ingram and teammate Spencer Jones hit back-to-back 3-pointers, bringing Stanford within 63-58 with 49.6 seconds remaining, but that’s as close as the Cardinal would get. Stanford’s poor 3-point shooting (6-for-25 3PT) and 17 costly turnovers on the night hurt their chances of making a comeback.
Oregon (16-7, 9-3) takes on California (10-15, 3-11) on Saturday afternoon while Stanford (14-10, 7-7) heads north to visit Oregon State (3-18, 1-10) looking to bounce back.