How Oregon won: The Ducks ring in the new year on a high note. Lead by freshman sensation Troy Brown Jr.'s 21 points and seven rebounds, and a better all-around defensive effort than what the team showed against Utah on Friday night, Oregon (11-4, 1-1 Pac-12) defeated Colorado (8-2, 0-2) 77-62 at Matthew Knight Arena.
"Our energy level was better and we did take a step defensively," Oregon coach Dana Altman said. "I thought we did take a step on our execution, I'll have to take a look, but I thought we did take some step execution-wise, execpt we had 12 turnovers the first half which really held us back. We just have to get better in every facet of the game, but I thought we did. We definitely weren't as bad as we were the other night, so I thought we took a step in the right direction."
What it means: The Ducks took a 37-28 lead going into half, but came out of halftime flat which allowed Colorado to sneak back into within four.
Freshman forward Kenny Wooten following the game said, "Yeah, that was an emphasis. We always try to come out with the same fire that we had in the first half and it's still a work in progress. We just got to continue to find ways how to grind out games."
Oregon now goes on the road for three games (Oregon State, Arizona State, Arizona) and cannot afford to come out flat.
High flying Ducks: Wooten added another three blocks to his block party totaling 23 blocks over the last five games. Wooten also added 13 points off of a perfect 4 of 4 shooting from the field and seven rebounds.
"I thought Troy's [Brown Jr.] line was really good, VJ [Victor Bailey Jr.] off the bench was good, Kenny [Wooten] has been solid," Altman said. "We haven't been getting him [Wooten] the ball enough... he never calls for it. He's got to start calling for the ball, making those guys throw it to him. You know, he goes four-for-four again tonight. So we got to go a little more inside-out and start doing a lot better job."
Foul play: Wooten, sophomore guard Payton Pritchard, and redshirt junior forward Paul White, returning from a concussion, finished the game with three fouls each.
Up next: Oregon faces Oregon State in the Civil War at 7 PM this Friday, January 5th in Corvallis, OR.