Brown, Ducks Bury Colorado State 95-65

Whether it was Oregon finally putting it together, Colorado State being a bit road wary or a combination of both, the Ducks really don’t care. They needed a win and they got it.

Oregon played its best half of basketball this season and turned a six-point halftime lead into a 95-65 rout over the Rams.

Elijah Brown turned into the shooter the Ducks (6-3) thought they were getting in the second half as the New Mexico transfer scored 18 of his team-leading 20 points after halftime. Brown was 4-of-6 from three-point land and 7-of-9 from the field overall. He also dished out six assists and grabbed five rebounds.

Kenny Wooten scored 13 and managed six rebounds, while the other Brown, Troy, filled up the stat sheet with 12 points, 10 boards and five assists. Oregon definitely missed Troy Brown in the loss to Boise State due to concussion protocol, but with the freshman’s return, Oregon looked more cohesive on both ends of the floor.

Paul White added 12, Payton Pritchard 11 and Mikyle MacIntosh’s 10 points just signified the balanced scoring for the Ducks.

Prentiss Nixon led Colorado State (4-6) and all scorers with 25 points.

Oregon took complete control of this game in the first minute of the second half when the Ducks went on a 9-2 run to take a 47-34 lead. Coming out of halftime, Oregon made a concerted effort to cram the ball inside. The Ducks made two easy hoops inside the paint, which led to some open shots from the outside.

But whether the Ducks were shooting inside the paint or not, they were making buckets. Oregon shot 37-of-70 (53 percent) from the field and 11-of-27 from behind the three-point line.

While the Ducks were proficient offensively, they were equally so on the defensive side of things. Oregon held the Rams to 38.5 percent from the field (20-of-52) and just 6-of-19 from behind the arc.

The Ducks were bigger and more athletic than Boise State last week, but the Broncos held their own on the boards. Oregon corrected that tonight. Faced with a smaller team once again, the Ducks took it to the Rams on the boards and held a 41-27 advantage in the rebounding department.

In the first half, the Ducks locked down the Rams on the defensive end of the floor early on. Oregon took an early 22-10 lead in the first 10 minutes of action. But Nixon started to hit from way downtown to bring his Colorado State team back into the game. He made three treys and led all scorers with 11 points at halftime.

Despite Nixon filling it up, the Ducks managed to take a 38-32 advantage at the break. White and Brown each scored 10 to lead the home team in the first half.

The 30-point win is the Ducks’ most impressive win of the season. Despite Colorado State’s record, the Rams were selected to finish second in the Mountain West and has already shown they can be a dangerous team with a 72-63 win last week.

That home win was in the middle of a road trip that saw the Rams go to Missouri State, Arkansas and finally at Oregon.

On the other side of things, the Ducks are not road warriors. Oregon travels out of the state just one time, at Fresno State Dec. 16, before it goes to Tempe, Ariz. Jan. 11.

But this extremely young team needs to rack up the wins before the Pac-12 season begins, and playing in the friendly confines of Matthew Knight Arena is the way to do that.

Texas Southern will be the next team to visit Eugene. The Tigers will be looking for their first win of the season as they are 0-8. They did play Washington State and lost 86-84 in overtime Nov. 12 and lost 71-69 to Toledo Dec. 2 in their most recent contest.

  ~ Don Smalley