Ducks Finally Have Their Night At Maples

Men's Hoops Editor Ray Salloom provides the Bootleg faithful a look at the game flow, stats, facts, and quotes after Stanford continued to end up on the wrong side of the W/L column, dropping their second consecutive home game, this time to the Oregon Ducks, by a final score of 67-59 on Thursday night. The last time Oregon won at Maples: the 1985-86 season.

Coming off a disappointing sweep at the hands of the LA schools, the Cardinal looked to get back on track versus the Oregon Ducks at Maples Pavilion. After battling back to even in the first half, the Cardinal couldn't hold on to an early second half lead and the Ducks finally stopped their 24-game losing streak at Maples, defeating Stanford by a final score of 67-59. Oregon moves to 10-10 (3-5), while Stanford drops to 10-9 (3-5) on the season.

Oregon head coach Dana Altman after the game said of ending the streak, "We needed that. That was a big one for us. It's something that we finally got out of the way. We've been talking out it for a while now, but for me, it wasn't a big deal because I just got here. But for us to get it done was good." He continued by saying "We played hard, we played well, we outrebounded them in the last 15 minutes, which is something that's been a pain our rears. Other than some casual turnovers, I thought we played pretty good."

Oregon grew their lead to ten, 54-44, with 7:15 to go before Stanford woke up and tried to rally. Two free throws by Aaron Bright kept them within striking distance, then back-to-back three-pointers by Anthony Brown and Jeremy Green got the home team to within four, 56-52, with 4:44 to go. Joevan Catron, though, canned two freebies and then converted inside after a Ducks offensive rebound to put the Ducks back up by eight. A short Dwight Powell jumper helped the cause, but consecutive bad misses from beyond the arc late in the shot clock hurt Stanford's chances to get any closer at the time. The Cardinal managed to get within three with 1:04 to go after a steal and Brown free throw, but a Singler three-point play with 34.7 seconds left sealed the deal for the Ducks.

"I don't think we played particularly well," opined head coach Johnny Dawkins, who looked like he let out some frustration after this loss, coming into the press room without his coat and tie. "They mixed their defenses well…sped us up a little bit," giving credit to the Ducks and their mixture of zone and press defenses they used throughout the game, a fact harped on in practice, but not executed well at times during the game. Altman, though, intimated he threw some wrinkles at the Cardinal, stating "They didn't like the press. We threw them something different than we would show some teams. I thought that it would be the kind of game it would be. Green and Powell are good players, their guys hit some shots, but there was nothing that surprised me. We shot it a little better than we had been from three, especially, which gave us a big boost. And then we hit all our free throws -- we hit 12 of 13 down the stretch, and that was big."

Oregon was led by Catron's 15 points and six rebounds. Jay-R Strowbridge scored 13 off the bench, while Garrett Sim and Malcolm Armstead scored 10 each for the victorious Ducks. Stanford was led by Powell's 14, accompanied by the unusual line that read like this: 6-8 shooting, 2-7 from the free throw line, a team-high six rebounds, five steals, three blocked shots, and three turnovers. Green netted 13 on 3-10 from the field and Brown knocked in 12 off the bench. Josh Owens scored just four points on 1-3 shooting in 23 minutes of play, sitting the last 11:24 as the coaching staff elected to go to a smaller lineup to counter the Ducks.

After the contest, Dawkins noted that players that want to shoot the ball need to ask for it, saying "You don't hurt anyone's feelings by demanding it when you are open," a fact that wasn't lost on the head man when describing the aggressive nature of Powell's play. In the end, though, the only thing that mattered was the score and this loss was "a tough pill to swallow" for Dawkins and his team.

Stanford shot 42% from the field, including just 32% at the three-point line and 62% (13-21) at the charity stripe. Oregon made 43% of their attempts, including a sizzling 53% from outside, and missed just one of their 13 chances at the free throw line (92%). Oregon outrebounded Stanford by a 33-29 clip, including 12-11 on the offensive glass. The Ducks were extraordinarily efficient in getting 20 second chance points to the Cardinal's eight. Oregon tallied 14 assists and 17 turnovers, while Stanford had just 10 assists to its 18 miscues.

Stanford opened up the second half in almost the same manner they finished the first half, getting a few looks to go down while Oregon struggled to get anything in their hoop. An Owens layup off a pretty feed from Bright capped a 16-3 run over an 8:36 stretch turned a seven-point deficit into a six-point lead, the Cardinal's biggest of the game, at 38-32. The Ducks, though, weren't about to let one of their best chances to stop the streak go to waste and got 10 in a row over a 3:19 span to go back on top, 42-38, heading onto the media timeout. Catron hit two free throws after the break before a Powell layup stopped the Cardinal bleeding.

The first half saw some hot shooting early for the Ducks, followed by a couple of long range shots amidst lots of short misses, propelling Oregon to three separate seven-point leads at 9-2, 19-12, and 29-22. However, Stanford was able to battle back with its own aerial assault, including three-pointers from Green and Brown to knot the score at 29 heading to the locker room.

Stanford next takes on the Oregon State Beavers at 7:00pm on Saturday evening.

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