(Photo) Oregon Ducks forward Jordan Bell (1) dunks the ball past California Golden Bears guard Tyrone Wallace (3) at Matthew Knight Arena. The Ducks won 68-65. Credit: Troy Wayrynen-USA TODAY Sports
Cal didn’t give Oregon an easy time on offense as their defense ranked No.8 in field goal percentage defense at 36.9 percent. Oregon has a weapon in sophomore Dillon Brooks as he is ranked 16th in scoring at 16.0 points per game.
Oregon was able to rebound from its loss in Corvallis by getting this win and being 1-1 in the Pac-12. Oregon had their struggles as they went 7-21 when shooting on the perimeter. The only decent statistic for Oregon tonight was their free throw percentage as they went 13-26.
“As disappointed as I was Sunday, I am equally as proud tonight because we didn’t play well offensively but we kept competing and our defense was better,” Altman said following the win.
Freshman Kendall Small stated that during halftime, head coach Dana Altman calmed the team down and told them that the shots will fall and that their main priority was getting stops on defense.
The top scorer of the night for the Ducks would be Chris Boucher scoring 18 points. Defensively, Oregon is on the brink for breaking the school’s single-season block record with senior forward Chris Boucher leading the charge with 3.1 blocks per game. Tonight, Boucher led the Ducks in blocked shots with four.
“I think the win helped us get together more,” Boucher said. “This game helped us realize that if we are together, we can be a great team.”
The top scorer of the night for the Golden Bears would be Jaylen Brown scoring a solid 20 points. Cal was only able to block six shots during the whole night. Cal went 0-12 on three point shots as they decided to keep all their shots within the arch. Cal would go 26-53 on field goal shots.
“It felt like one of those March games.” Small said.
Small’s night looked quiet on the statistics sheet as he went 1-4 at the free throw line. Altman believes that if he had made more of his free throws that he would have had a great game. Altman said that Small played great on defense and that he loved his activity.
“We made plays at the end and on defense, we made stops,” concluded Altman.
The Ducks had to deal with some turnover on the roster as they announced that senior transferred student Dylan Ennis would be done for the season due to a left foot injury. The team announced on Jan. 5th that Trevor Manuel has transferred from the program.
“We needed a win, there is no doubt,” Altman said. “If you’re going to stay competitive you got to win at home and get tough on the road.”
The Ducks (11-3) will host the Stanford Cardinals (8-5) on Sunday. Jan 10th at Matt Knight Arena. Tipoff is set at 7:00 pm and can be seen on ESPU and ESPN3.
Follow Keoni Conlu on twitter: @kconlu13