Eugene, OR – Oregon started its game against Colorado with energy and raced out to a 20-9 lead. That was similar to their 21-8 lead in their game against Utah. In that game the Ducks lost focus in the second half in a 10-point loss. That wasn’t the case tonight as Oregon turned back an early second-half Buffalo surge which cut the lead to four points. The Ducks came right back, extended their lead to 15 and coasted to a 77-62 win in front of 7,458 fans on New Year’s Eve in Eugene.
Freshman Troy Brown Jr. played his best and most aggressive offensive game of the year, finishing with a game and personal season-high of 21 points on 7-of-11 shooting. Brown created opportunities for himself as opposed to deferring to teammates. He forced the action taking the ball to the basket effectively and didn’t hesitate when he had shooting openings. He was fouled on several of his penetrations and made all six of his free throws. Brown also added seven rebounds and two assists.
After 6-9 freshman Kenny Wooten played 27 minutes without taking a shot against Utah, Oregon made an effort to get the ball into Wooten and give him opportunities to score in the paint. Wooten responded and scored 13points on perfect 4-of-4 shooting. He also drew contact and got to the foul line six times, making five. Wooten also contributed seven rebounds and blocked three first half shots in 31 minutes of action. Oregon was helped by the return of 6-9 Paul White who missed the last two games due to a concussion. White grabbed five rebounds and scored three points over 21 minutes. Wooten appears to have won the starting center spot but Oregon will need contributions from White to be successful.
Coach Dana Altman reduced his rotation in this game to eight players with the eighth, Keith Smith, only getting three minutes. They received some energy in the first half from Victor Bailey Jr. who scored five quick points when Oregon needed them. 6-10 senior Roman Sorkin was unavailable due to a foot injury.
6-5 Namon Wright led Colorado with 20 points. Wright, a transfer from Missouri who averaged over eight points for the Tigers two years ago, was active and athletic. He connected on 8-of-13 shots (3-of-6 on 3s) and added three rebounds. This appears to be a Colorado (8-6, 0-2) team that will have some problems in conference play.
Both teams were sloppy with the ball with 37 total turnovers committed, 20 by Colorado. Oregon scored 18 points off those turnovers. Three-point shooting was even with both teams shooing 31 percent. Oregon shot more effectively on their 2-point attempts (20-of-32) and got to the foul line 22 times (making 19) while Colorado only had eight tries from the charity tripe. Colorado had a slight edge (+2) on the boards and had five more offensive rebounds than the Ducks.
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