How Oregon won: The Ducks got back to how Oregon wants to play basketball: gritty defense that turns into fast break opportunities. And that's exactly what we saw on the court of Matthew Knight Arena this evening. Oregon's smothering defense caused 16 Colorado State turnovers that lead to 26 points. It's that quick transition offense that the Ducks find their identity, always aiming to push and control the tempo off either a turnover or defensive rebound. This defensive-lead momentum, along with redshirt senior guard Elijah Brown's team-high 20 points, lead Oregon (6-3) past the Colorado State Rams (4-6) 95-65.
In a post-game press conference, Oregon head coach Dana said, "Second chance points 23 to four, points off turnovers 26 to seven... Those are stats we haven't seen. Out-rebounded them by 14 and this is a team that out-rebounded Florida State, Arkansas, and Colorado, so board-play was good."
Not to mention the Ducks also capitalized off those Colorado State turnovers with 12 fast-break points compared to the Rams' two.
"Payton Pritchard set a heck of a tone defensively," said Altman. "When that point guard is out there setting the tone, then Troy [Brown] and Elijah [Brown] really picked it up. I just thought our defensive effort was better tonight. I thought we gave up fewer good looks."
What it means: This was a better showing of Oregon basketball then the previous four games. Altman and his staff made good adjustments in the second half and relied more on the Ducks bench who outscored Colorado State's bench 30 to 11.
High flying Ducks: Including Brown, six total Ducks scored in double figures tonight: Elijah Brown (20), Kenny Wooten (13), Paul White (12), Troy Brown (12), Payton Pritchard (11), and Mikyle McIntosh (10). This shows the ball movement trending in the right direction for Oregon.
"Tonight was big for him," said Pritchard on Elijah Brown following the game. "He hasn't been shooting it like Elijah normally has been. I'm hoping tonight is how it is every game because that's going to be a big help for us. He can catch fire, so that's big for our team."
Foul play: Both Troy Brown and Mikyle McIntosh finished the game with four fouls each.
Up next: Oregon will host Texas Southern (0-8) at 7 PM (PT) on Monday, December 11 at Matthew Knight Arena.