Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

Ducks down UConn, 79-69

The Oregon Ducks made a dramatic turnaround from previous games on Wednesday by taking the lead on its first possession and never relinquishing it and finished the Maui Jim Maui Invitational with a 79-69 win over the Connecticut Huskies. Chris Boucher hit five 3-point shots to pace Oregon, finishing with 21 points. The Ducks had double-digit scoring from three other players beside Boucher.

While Boucher was the high scorer for the Ducks with 21, he had help from Tyler Dorsey with 19, Dylan Ennis with 15 and Jordan Bell adding 12.

From the beginning of the game the Ducks were aggressive on defense and looking for transition points and in fact built a 30-9 lead halfway through the first half. Defensively Oregon battled and continued to hold off a stubborn UConn squad plagued by injuries but was still effective enough to bring the score to a 39-28 Oregon lead at halftime.

In the second half, behind Jalen Adams’ 27 points, UConn even cut the lead further until 4:08 left in the game and Oregon led by six, 67-61, when Casey Benson was reinserted into the line up to calm the team and take better care of the ball. Oregon committed a total 17 turnovers, mostly due to a tenacious UConn defense. The Huskies big man Amida Brimah, was a very big obstacle inside and Oregon’s passing, which had been so very good in the first half, because erratic. Benson’s ball handling paid off as the Ducks gradually built the lead back up to 14 (77-63) with a 1:29 left after a pair of successful Ennis free throws, though UConn and Adams had some tricks and energy left in them.

Vance Jackson hit a big 3-pointer that cut Oregon’s lead to 77-67 with 1:09 left whenever UConn started making too much of a run, Oregon head coach Dana Altman, would call timeout and get his team refocused.

In the final minute, the Ducks defense was as active as it has been all year and as the final ticks ran off the clock; Oregon withstood all of UConn’s efforts and finished the game off with the 79-69 win.

Oregon had a total of 18 assists and out rebounded the Huskies, 35-26. Boucher also recorded three more blocks today.

Dillon Brooks played 18 minutes and had nine points in his third game back after having foot surgery last summer.

For the game Oregon shot 54.7 percent on 29-of-53 shooting including a very respectable 42.9 percent in 3-point shooting on 9-of-21. On Monday, the Ducks shot just 50 percent in free throw shooting but on Wednesday as it had done on Tuesday, Oregon’s free throw percentage was much better, and against UConn it was 70.6 percent or 12-of-17 from the line.

UConn shot 48.3 percent from the field and were 6-of-23 in shots beyond the 3-point line. The Huskies were 7-of-10 from the line.

Besides Adams’ 27, UConn had two other players in double-figures; Rodney Purvis finished with 13 while Brimah had 11.

Oregon caused UConn to turn the ball over 13 times but UConn stole the ball from the Ducks seven times to Oregon’s four steals.

With the win Oregon improves to 4-2 for the season and UConn drops to 2-4.

The Ducks will be in action next Monday, Nov. 28, against Boise State at Matthew Knight Arena with start time at 8 p.m. in a game that will be carried on the Pac-12 Networks.

 Official Box Score from GoDucks.com


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