So long, farewell.
The Oregon men bid McArthur Court adieu Saturday night before 7,165, falling to visiting Arizona State 60-55 in a hotly contested game that wasn't decided until the final minute.
The venerable old building will be known for its "pit"-like construction, wafting popcorn aroma, and tremendous home court advantage, among other things, however, the freshest memory for many fans will be the narrow defeat at the hands of the Sun Devils to close out the historic venue.
"That's a real disappointing loss," remarked Oregon head coach Dana Altman after the game. "Offensively, other than some points out of transition, we had a hard time scoring again."
In what has become a common theme throughout the early portion of the season, the Ducks struggled mightily shooting the ball, shooting a woeful 32.1 percent from the field for the game. The Sun Devils' plan to collapse on Oregon forward Joevan Catron after he'd receive the ball down in the paint was rather effective, as the Ducks floundered when forced to hit open shots from the perimeter.
"We had a number of open looks from three that we didn't hit," said Altman of his team's 25 percent shooting from beyond the arc. "With the exception of maybe one or two (shots) late, most of our threes were pretty good shots."
Catron, who finished with 11 points and 5 rebounds, admitted that the Ducks' wayward stroke from outside is concerning as opponents will employ gameplans similar to Arizona State's in order to slow down Oregon.
"Teams get the film," said Catron. "They're definitely playing zone on us right now and they're just daring us to make shots. That's one thing we've got to work on. Until we make shots, it's just going to get tough."
Arizona State was led by three players who contributed double digit scoring efforts, as the Sun Devils shot nearly 45 percent from the field for the entire game (44.9), including a sizzling 64.7 percent in the second half; clawing ahead for good with 7 minutes left in the game after relinquishing the lead to Oregon a handful of times in the second half.
"(Arizona State) shooting 65 percent in the second half...a lot of that was that we weren't taking away their tendencies," said Altman. "That really created some easy opportunities for them."
Carrick Felix led the Sun Devils with 19 points.
With the Ducks now embarking on a new era of Oregon basketball with their move to the palatial confines of Matthew Knight Arena coming in a couple of weeks, the closing of Mac Court was met with mixed emotions after the final buzzer had sounded.
"For me personally, Mac Court has been a really special place for me," said Oregon forward E.J. Singler who led the Ducks with 19 points and 9 rebounds Saturday. "I know (Mac Court) meant a lot to the fans and we're sorry we couldn't pull out a win for them."
For Catron, the move out of McArthur Court will be met with some anticipation.
"I'm actually ready to move out of Mac Court and move in to Matt," grinned Catron. "There's no flies (at Matt)."
Arizona State head coach Herb Sendek may have put the most complimentary bow on the old arena after his team's victory, speaking fondly of the decidedly outdated structure.
"This would have to be among one of the best places I've ever had a chance to witness a college basketball game, said Sendek.
"I love these places. I like places like Wrigley Field, I like Mac Court, and I like places like that...places like this have a lot of history, a lot of nostalgia, and a lot of great moments."
The Ducks moved to 7-7 overall and 0-2 in conference play. Next week, the Ducks head north to take on the Washington schools, as Oregon will battle Washington next Thursday up in Seattle. Tip-off is set for 5:30 pm.
Oregon used its sixth different starting lineup combination of the season (G-Malcolm Armstead, G-Johnathan Loyd, G-Jay-R Strowbridge, F-E.J. Singler and F-Joevan Catron)...After ASU went on a 9-0 run to take an 11-3 lead with 14:35 in the first half, the Ducks answered with a 12-4 run to tie it at 15 points apiece with 10:21 (Joevan Catron 4 pts, E.J. Singler 3 pts, Teondre Williams 3 pts, Tyrone Nared 2 pts)...E.J. Singler matched a career-best with 19 points to go with a team-high nine rebounds. It was the third time this season Singler has led the Ducks in scoring this season. It also marked the 11th time he has reached double figures in scoring (17th time of career)...Joevan Catron (11 points) reached double figures in scoring for the 12th time in 14 games this season. It was the 37th time in his career he has scored 10 or more points...Malcolm Armstead registered a new career high with five steals against ASU. It was the first time a Duck had five steals in a game since Maarty Leunen did it in a Nov. 12, 2006, game against Portland State.
Follow Chris Courtney on Twitter at eDuckCCourtney
Ducks Fall In Final Game At Mac
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