(PHOTO) University of Oregon Ducks forward Elgin Cook (23) drives to the basket against University of Colorado Buffaloes guard George King (24) at Matthew Knight Arena. Credit: Troy Wayrynen-USA TODAY Sports
Oregon came out to prove why the sit atop the Pac-12 Conference race and led virtually from the start and went into halftime leading 40-21. The Ducks took care of the ball on offense and again employed a stingy 2-3 zone defense and kept Colorado’s star big man, Josh Scott away from the basket and allowed Chris Boucher clear reign to control the rebounding from the start. However, Oregon headman Dana Altman isn’t quite ready to claim any championships yet.
“We are not tough enough right now; our consistency isn’t quite good enough,” summed up Altman of his team. “If that’s going to happen we are going to have to get a lot better… If we stay the same or get too full of ourselves… Make no mistake, our team is going to get better. We were sitting at 5-4 this time last year and everyone counted us out. The year before that we were 3-8, teams are going to get better. We better get better, that’s the only way we are going to continue to have success.”
Cook was aided in the scoring onslaught by Tyler Dorsey with 13 points, while Dwayne Benjamin registered 11 and Dillon Brooks hit 10 before fouling out.
“Dillon (Brooks) is one guy who has been playing well for us, but he is just one part of the attack,” observed Altman.” We have a lot of guys who are confident, that ball goes up pretty quick, so there is definitely no lack in confidence.”
Chris Boucher had seven points, 12 rebounds and six blocked shots before he left the game with what appeared to be an ankle twist.
“I think he’s going to be alright,” said Altman of Boucher’s injury. “I was just with him in the locker room and they were checking him out. I think it’s just a little bit of a tweak, hopefully. He has become such an important part of our team.”
Oregon shot 41 percent on 25-of-61 field goal shooting including 8-for-24 in 3-pointers and were 18-for-21 in free throw shooting.
Colorado hit 33.8 percent of its shots on 22-of-55 shooting including 6-of-20 beyond the 3-point arc. The Buffaloes shot 14 free throws but only hit six of those shots.
Scott was the high scorer for the Buffs with 17.
Colorado edged Oregon in rebounding, 42-38 but the Ducks had eight fewer turnovers, 14-6. Oregon also blocked a total of nine shots to Colorado’s four.
Oregon plays again on Sunday at 1 p.m. against Utah at MKA.