How Oregon won: Two freshmen didn’t quite look like freshmen tonight vs. Washington. Kenny Wooten and Troy Brown Jr., stepped up in a huge way on both ends of the court. Wooten hosted himself a block party and finished with a career-high seven blocks. Whereas Brown found his stroke and caught fire from the field finishing with 21 points on 8-of-12 shooting. These two set the tone for the Ducks (16-8, 6-5 Pac-12) to a 65-40 beating over Washington Huskies (17-7, 7-4 Pac-12) at Matthew Knight Arena Thursday evening.
After the game, Brown said, “Well for me personally, I felt that it was a great win. I feel like it was something we need to keep on doing and just build on at this point. I feel like the Stanford loss is something that really gave us an awakening at this point in time…. right now we just need to get back on board. We needed that win, that significant win, and we just got to come out Sunday and keep on building from there.”
The defensive effort from Oregon started on the very first possession. Oregon forced Washington into an immediate shot clock violation that set the tone throughout the entire game.
“Our coach told us that we had to work hard on defense,” said Wooten. “So I just tried to give the maximum amount of effort I could.”
One block was enough for the Huskies as a lurking Wooten was ready pounce on any given drive.
Brown said of Wooten’s shot-blocking capabilities, “After that, it changed the game a lot. They just seemed very timid heading to the basket. They were all kind of pump-faking, and it just changed the game a lot.”
What it means: Let’s flashback to last Saturday afternoon when the Ducks were in Palo Alto facing the Stanford Cardinal. The final score 96-61 Cardinal victory, a 35-point deficit, and expressionless Ducks hitting the road due north.
The only solution to bounce back from a loss like that? Flush it and move on. And that is exactly what the Ducks did tonight. Quite the opposite team play from last Saturday to know. Call it good coaching or a good week of practice, but these Ducks came out firing on all cylinders on both sides of the ball.
Now, the tough question remains: which team is going to show up to each game? A lost, confused team vs. Stanford or an energetic, diving after loose balls team tonight. Consistency will be a big challenge moving forward for Altman and the Ducks.
Brown said, “I feel like we flushed it very easily. I felt like coach Altman did a good job of just kind of keeping us motivated. He didn’t dwell on it. It was kind of one of those things where we know we are better than that and we have to show it. So we kind of just moved on from it and it worked out for the best.”
High flying Ducks: Besides the remarkable play from the two freshmen Wooten and Brown, sophomore guard Payton Pritchard finished with 12 points and dished out eight assists, half of the team total in assists. Redshirt senior Mikyle McIntosh was one rebound and one basket away from yet another double-double. He finished with eight points and nine rebounds.
Foul play: Redshirt junior Paul White finished with four fouls.
Up next: The Ducks host the Washington State Cougars (9-14, 1-10 Pac-12) at 5 PM (PT) this Sunday at Matthew Knight Arena.