Rich Kolbell

Oregon pounds Arizona hitting 16 three-pointers

EUGENE, ORE. -- The No. 13 Oregon Ducks played host to No. 5 Arizona Wildcats on a rainy Saturday afternoon in Eugene, Ore. The rain wasn’t the only thing falling as the Ducks showered the Wildcats with 16 three pointers, tying a school record, beating them 85-58 behind Tyler Dorsey’s 23 points, three rebounds, four assists and one steal.

 Dorsey was on fire as he was a perfect 6-6 from beyond the arc, 3-3 from the free throw line and 7-9 from the field.

“Tyler is our x-factor on our team,” said Dillon Brooks. “If he (Dorsey) gets it going we’re blowing teams out by 20.”

Brooks who was second on the team with 18 points, five rebounds, three assists, one block and three steals, got the first two points for the Ducks and the game after he drove to the basket for an easy layup. The Oregon student section was then charged with a delay of game for tossing cornstarch in the air and on the court (what Lebron James does before tipoff) after Brooks made the basket. That delay seemed to have taken Arizona right out of their game plan, the Matthew Knight Arena crowd became alive and the Ducks went on a roll never looking back.

At the 8:41 mark of the first half, Brooks picked up his second foul and found himself on the bench for the rest of the half, but at that point the Ducks went on a 19-0 run, hitting five straight 3-pointers and a couple layups to push the lead to 38-11 over the number one scoring offense in the Pac-12.

Oregon found itself with a 20 point lead, 38-18, heading into the half. Oregon shot 59 percent (13-22) from the field, 71.4 percent (10-14) from 3-point range and 100 percent (2-2) from the free throw line in the first half.

“You have some gratification when you know you’re playing really hard and playing well defensively,” said head coach Dana Altman. “That’s the gratifying thing, when you guard, block people out, go get rebounds, dive on loose balls and take charges.”

Oregon’s hot defensive start, set the tone of the game for the Ducks offense, as they out rebounded the Wildcats on the defensive boards 23-15 which created a lot of fast break points and points off of turnovers.

Oregon’s shooting was so hot that at one point ESPN commentator Bill Walton said “The hoop is as big as Crater Lake with Magical Island in the middle.”

“We were rebounding all their misses.” Brooks commenting of his teams dominate performance. “We were going down there and running them, shooting a three and getting into the paint.”

 Casey Benson had a slow night as he tallied 13 points, which 9 came in the first half after going 3-3 from three point range, one rebound, two assists and one steal. Chris Boucher was the last Duck player to reach double-digit scoring with 12 points, four rebounds and two blocks.

 Jordan Bell finished with six points, six rebounds, six assists, one steal and three blocks.

Two of the best three point shooters for the Ducks, Dylan Ennis and Payton Pritchard, were held scoreless until the 9:44 mark of the second half when Pritchard hit one of his three 3-point shots he took.

For the game the Ducks shot 65.2 percent (30-46), 64 percent (16-25) from 3-point land and 81.8 percent (9-11) from the charity stripe.

From start to finish the No. 5 Arizona Wildcats looked helpless and extremely lost deep in the woods. When Arizona would make a little run the Ducks were there and ready to stop them. Arizona had the slight height advantage on the Ducks but they just couldn’t capitalize when they needed to.

“Well we did want to run and get some easy ones.” Altman said. “We weren’t going to match their size, they start two seven footers.”

With just under 13 minutes left to play in the game and trailing 56-27, Arizona head coach Sean Miller took his final timeout of the half trying to get his team some confidence to build a run and cut into the huge deficit but mainly to slow down the fast onslaught of the Ducks offense.

Arizona was led by Rawle Alkins with 16 points, six rebounds, four assists, one block and four steals. Alkins did all that he could possibly do to help his team remain close in the game but it just wasn’t good enough. Allonzo Trier and Dusan Ristic were tied with 12 points each for the Wildcats and combined for five rebounds in 47 minutes of play.

With the win the No. 13 Oregon Ducks now improve to 21-3 overall and 10-1 in conference play,  extending the home winning streak to 40 games, the longest in NCAA, which had belonged to the Kansas Jayhawks (51) until they lost to Iowa State today 92-89 in overtime. The Ducks are tied with Arizona but sit on top of the Pac-12.

Up Next: No. 13 Oregon travels to Southern California to take on No. 11 UCLA Bruins Thursday night February 9, 2017 at 7:30 p.m. PST on ESPN and then USC on Saturday February 11, 2017 at 7:30 p.m. PST on Pac-12 Networks.

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