Eugene, OR – The Oregon Ducks faced the Stanford Cardinal Saturday night at Matthew Knight Arena in Eugene. Oregon. The Ducks came in with a seven-game winning streak while Stanford won their last four games including their only conference tilt over Arizona. For the second straight game Oregon got their offense going late and ran away for a 73-56 win. Chris Duarte led the Ducks with 23 points, hitting 4-of-9 3s, Eugene Omoruyi added 15 points and LJ Figueroa contributed 13 points and 12 rebounds. Bryce Wills and Spencer Jones led Stanford with 12 points.
The first half was an ugly affair with neither team able to get anything going offensively. Stanford took an early 11-3 lead, then the Ducks came back to score nine straight points to take a 12-11 lead. An Aaron Estrada steal and basket gave Oregon a 16-15 lead. Then Oregon proceeded to score only two points in over seven minutes. A Jones three-pointer gave the Cardinal a 25-18 lead. Oregon came back late with an Amauri Hardy jumper and a Eric Williams Jr. (12 points), three-pointer which cut Stanford’s lead to 32-30 at the half.
Stanford effectively double-teamed Oregon’s leading scorer Omoruyi each time he received the ball in the post. Omoruyi was held to four first half points. Oregon got back into the game using a zone press after made baskets, forcing the Cardinal to 12 first-half turnovers. Stanford shot only 1-of-7 on three-pointers while Oregon was 3-of-14. Stanford’s Jones and Oregon’s Duarte and Williams Jr. all had nine first half points.
Again, Oregon’s three-point shooting was ugly much of the game with Hardy, Estrada and Figueroa all throwing up air-balls. Figueroa did make the highlight reel, following up his missed 3 with a dunk on the offensive rebound. With the going tough for him inside Omoruyi headed outside and hit three three-pointers. The second, combined with a 3 from the corner from Estrada gave the Ducks a 51-46 lead. A long three-pointer from Omoruyi gave Oregon a 57-51 lead. Then Duarte got red hot and scored 14 of the Ducks final 16 points, hitting three 3s over the last 4:26. Oregon closed the game on a 16-3 surge.
LJ Figueroa’s shooting has been off this far this year but he’s an invaluable player on an Oregon roster devoid of big men. At 6-6 he battles inside and his 12 rebounds tonight was an important piece of Oregon’s win. He was solid in the Ducks’ pressing defense and came up with two steals while Duarte had four steals. Hardy ran the point effectively ending the night with seven assists against only one turnover. Oregon forced Stanford into 19 turnovers while committing 11. Oregon’s late hot shooting from deep helped then shoot 10-of-19 on 3s in the second half. They ended the game at 13-of-33 (39.4%). Stanford shot only 3-of-18 from deep.
Stanford’s Ziaire Williams, a 6-9 freshman, is generally considered a high lottery pick in the 2021 NBA Draft. He’s a multi-positional player who can see the floor well and has a nice shooting touch. He made a nice corner jumper early in the game, then missed his next five attempts. Williams played as the primary ballhandler through a good part of the game. His skill set is very varied and he may develop into at least a secondary playmaker at the NBA level. He finished the night with 10 points of 3-of-12 shooting (1-of-5 3s), five rebounds and two assists. His shooting needs to get more consistent. He came into the game shooting only 29.6 percent on 3s.
Oregon (8-1, 3-0) will next take a tough road trip to Colorado and Utah. The Buffaloes are first up on Thursday night. Stanford (5-3, 1-1) will play at Oregon State on Monday at Noon in a game that was previously postponed on Thursday.