Ducks

Oregon Ducks freshmen break out in blowout win over rival Washington

Ducks

Yes, the Washington Huskies (3-14, 2-10) stink.

That should not take away from the dominant performance a shorthanded Oregon (10-4, 5-3) team had on Saturday, dismantling its rival 86-74 at Matthew Knight Arena. The game was not as close as that score makes it out to be with Oregon leading by as many as 22. 

Eugene Omoruyi led Oregon with 25 points on 8-12 from the field. 

Due to a two-game losing skid and numerous postponements due to COVID-19, it was Oregon's first win since January 19th. 

Oregon was missing Chris Duarte with a right ankle injury and Eric Williams because of COVID-19 protocols. 

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Here are the key takeaways. 

The Good

The Freshmen balled out!

With Duarte missing from the lineup and center N'Faly Dante out for the season, it was time for the freshmen to step up and they did just that.

Both Jalen Terry and Frank Kepnang came off the bench Saturday but made impacts whenever they were on the floor. Terry made 5-7 three-point shots including four in the second half to score 15 points. 

Meanwhile, Kepnang appears to be adjusting to the college level well making all three shots along with 2-3 free-throws for eight points but he was dominant on defense with two blocks.

 

He would have had a third block but it got negated due to Eugene Omoruyi drawing an offensive foul on the play. 

Rim protection has been a necessary component for Dana Altman teams who make deep runs in the NCAA Tournament and if Kepnang can repeat performances like this regularly, why can this team not make another Sweet 16? 

Reminder: Kepnang should be in high school but enrolled early due to the ongoing pandemic. 

Oregon shared the rock.

The Ducks notched 18 assists through breaking down Washington's zone defense and found shooters such as Jalen Terry open from outside, often. 

Chandler Lawson and Will Richardson each led Oregon with five assists each. 

The Bad

Chris Duarte in a boot.

The Pac-12's fourth-leading scorer (17.8 points per game) left Thursday's loss against Washington State with a right ankle injury. Dana Altman did not have an update after the loss but ruled Duarte out for Saturday's contest prior to tipoff. 

Duarte was on the sidelines wearing a boot. 

The Highlight

Omoruyi nailed a three right before halftime to give Oregon a double-digit lead.

The Stat

Oregon dismantled Washington's zone defense with a 122.9 offensive rating for the game. 

The Quote

"Those freshmen really stepped in," Altman said. "... We got really productive minutes from those two guys, absolutely."

The Next Game

Oregon will travel to Arizona State to take on the Sun Devils on Thursday, February 11th at 6:00 p.m. PT.