Arizona didn’t get the memo.
The Ducks blew the doors off the building in the first 10 minutes of action and cruised to an easy 85-58 win over the No. 5 team in the nation. Oregon improved to 21-3 on the season and 10-1 in league action, putting them in a tie for the conference lead with the Wildcats.
The victory was also the Ducks’ 40th straight home win, which is now the longest streak in the country after Kansas was upset by Iowa State 92-89 in overtime. Believe it or not, the score wasn’t that indicative of the game. Oregon held a 35 point lead for much of the second half and was threatening to win by 40 until the scrubs for both teams entered the game for the last four minutes of play.
Tyler Dorsey and Dillon Brooks did their best to make sure Arizona never had a chance. Both players were raining down threes in the first half and eventually the Ducks led 39-11 late in the first half. Dorsey was a perfect 6-for-6 from long distance on his way to 23 points. Brooks added 18.
But Dorsey and Brooks weren’t the only Ducks torching the Wildcats from the outside. Casey Benson nailed three treys of his own for 13 points and Chris Boucher added 12 with a couple of threes from him as well. Jordan Bell came up all sixes with six points, six rebounds and a career high six assists. Dylan Ennis and walk-on Charlie Noebel were the only Ducks who didn’t score. But Ennis dished out four assists and played lockdown defense on the Wildcats’ sharp shooters in his 30 minutes of action.
As a team, the Ducks shot a season best 65 percent from the field on 30-of-46 shooting and an incredible 16-of-25 from three-point land. hey were just two treys short of tying the program record of 18 threes.
Perhaps lost in the offensive fireworks the Ducks set off was the dismantling of the Wildcats on the defensive end of the floor. Arizona came into the game averaging just over 76 points per game, but for a long time it was doubtful they would reach the 50 mark. Oregon’s 85 points equaled the largest total the Wildcats have given up this season. UCLA also scored 85, but Arizona won that game 96-85.
Rawle Alkins led the Wildcats with 16 points with Dusan Ristic and Alonzo Trier each adding 12.
The schedule doesn’t get any easier for the Ducks as they go down to Los Angeles to take on UCLA and USC next week with the Bruins up first on Thursday. UCLA will definitely be looking for a little revenge for the first time the two teams faced off. Brooks hit a three at the buzzer to down UCLA in late December.
When the buzzer sounded off today, it was Arizona who was thankful so they could get out of dodge as quickly as possible.
~ Don Smalley