Pac-12 conference - Page 3

Oregon football lost over $689,000 from Alamo Bowl appearance

The Oregon football program experienced a loss of $689,353 from its appearance in the Alamo Bowl this past December. As part of a public records request, The Oregonian acquired a breakdown of the trip’s expenses, which detailed the total bowl expenses. The figure for these expenses was over $2.5 million.

The largest contributors to the bowl expenses were coach/staff bonuses ($1,058,664) and travel ($836,686). The supplies expense was next largest at $238,895 (supplies included commemorative rings and T-shirts for the Oregon band).

While large, Oregon’s senior associate athletic director for marketing and public relations Craig Pintens told The Oregonian that bowl expenses like these are not out of the norm.

“It’s just something that we budget for, none of this is a surprise to us necessarily,” Pintens said. “Depending on which bowl we go to we adjust our travel size accordingly, our supplies accordingly and so on. We always want to operate on a zero-based budget.”

Oregon’s reimbursements/revenues from the trip to San Antonio came in at $1,839,481, with $1,800,491 coming from the Pac-12 Conference.

Follow Victor Flores on Twitter @vflores415

College Football Nation: Nick Saban Believes He IS College Football and the Big 12 is Eyeing More

Sometimes you have to just love the off-season, where the media tries to turn any little quote into a major breaking story.  You have to be glad for that, since there is no actual football being played.  Just ask Coach Nick Saban at the University of Alabama.

As this off-season progresses I will slowly try to change my format for you — the reader.  Maybe I will be able to give a little more insight on the action and go over a few more things going on in college football.

The big story from this week is Alabama’s running back, Derrick Henry, pictured in front of his brand new ride.  People are screaming violations since it is too nice of a car for a player with absolutely no income.  Really?!?!  That is Alabama and SEC football, where they think to themselves — “When someone can play this well as a freshmen, why can’t we get them whatever they want!”  I am just surprised it is not a big red Hummer with a giant Alabama logo on the hood.

Then the media took after Pat White, former West Virginia QB, when he was quoted as saying he was also offered a brand new car if he came to Alabama — a Corvette, no less.  When Coach Saban was asked about this, he was quoted as saying, “I didn’t even know it happened so I can’t comment on it,” then more.  Priceless!

-We just had the footage released from the Jameis Winston Crab heist.  They say in the footage he was walking around for a bit with the crab legs waiting for the ‘all clear.’  I will let you be the judge from this video.  Me thinks he was pulling another “QB sneak”.

Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly wants ND to keep scheduling Michigan and MSU.  Of course he comes out and says this after the damage has already been done and the series is taking a break.  We need more coaches to be vocal about keeping rivalries alive through all of this conference expansionism.  I think no one noticed this outside the two schools, but maybe no more so than Kansas vs Missouri — thanks to the conference realignment.  We need rivalries like that one, along with Notre Dame vs “the” Michigans.  Those games are what makes college football that much better.

To top it all off, they are comparing who has the best uniform changes for the upcoming season.  As Oregon fans you can rest easy because, of course … the new Duck uniforms are No. 1 still.  I am interested to see how Miami’s look will be on the field this year, once kickoff gets here.

Our feel good story comes out of Boise, Idaho, this week.  After word got out about how incoming player, Antoine Turner was homeless, the NCAA allowed Boise State to step in and help out.  With all the heat the NCAA has been taking lately, here is one bright spot for them.  I am sure everything will come crumbling down again next week for them.

My last rant for the day is about the Big 12 adding a conference championship game.  It would be nice for the Big 12 to actually have 12 teams again and hold a title game.  They seem set in their ways of having only 10 teams and no actual title game but come on … just get two more schools and get back to normal.  The Big 12 should take BYU and Cincinnati.  They took West Virginia and they are FOREVER so far away … so just pull the trigger on those other two schools and quit being crazy about the whole thing.

So there you have it — some of the news from this past week of college football.  I do imagine things will start picking up in the next month or two when summer break ends and the players are “officially” back on campus preping for fall camp.  Who knows, we might get lucky and Jameis Winston will try to go back to his crab shack for seconds.  If that doesn’t happen, you can watch these highlights from the SEC 2013 title game.  It is all about the offense from this game!


1. Lane Kiffin wants revenge

2. Oklahoma State has lost

3. Washington gets QB back

4. UMASS heading south

5. B1G vs PAC-12 is on


 Main photo by Amerigo Vespucci


Pac-12 Conference Gives California Schools Home Field Advantage for Title Game


It was a unique situation in college football when it began in 2011. Then, the Pac-12 decided to have a Championship game between the best of the North Division vs the best of the South Division with one caveat that was unique onto itself. It was the only Championship game played on the field of the team with the best conference record at the end of the season. That model worked for a few years with the Oregon Ducks hosting the UCLA Bruins in a packed Autzen Stadium in 2011, but the numbers the following year when Stanford and UCLA hit the field were mediocre in comparison, with just over 30,000 in the seats to watch the game.

Pac-12 Logo FootballOver the last few weeks the Pac-12 Conference made a decision on the fate of the location for their Title game and Oregon Ducks fans will not be happy. On Thursday it was decided that the Pac-12 Championship game will be in Santa Clara at Levi’s Stadium, the new home of the NFL’s San Francisco 49ers moving forward and starting this season. I feel this is a bad move for several reasons.

For one, it takes away from the economy of smaller schools in the Pac-12 who may have had ‘something to play for’ in hosting, not to mention the economic impacts, but now California schools have a very distinct ‘home field’ advantage. If you are a fan of USC, Cal, Stanford or UCLA this is a huge win for you and some nice incentive to play well to get to a final ‘home’ game to end your season, of course the fans of these schools will flock to Santa Clara, but fans of schools outside of the state, I’m not so sure.

If you look at the landscape ahead, it is about to change with the College Football Playoff beginning this season. If Oregon wins the Pac-12 North Division and makes the Title Game for a shot at the Rose Bowl or better, will Oregon Ducks fans flock to Levi’s Stadium for the game considering there are likely bigger games to come on the road to the National Championship, or will they stay home and watch on tv waiting for a shot at a better ticket for an even more enticing matchup?

117th Civil War Autzen Stadium Photo | Sandy Harris
Ducks warming up at the 117th Civil War Autzen Stadium Photo | Sandy Harris

The Pac-12 did not think this aspect through, let alone the schedule for the game. It will be played on a Friday night in 2014. Friday? Really? A weeknight? The last time it was on a Friday attendance was down. I’m somewhat looking forward to seeing this on television with five thousand empty seats or more.

Oregon does have an advantage in that the will face Cal at Levi’s Stadium in October. Time will tell if this is a good decision for the Pac-12 or not, but I feel it is cleary not a good direction. It is a clear disadvantage to schools outside of the state of California, aka three fourth of the Pac-12 Conference.

What are your thoughts? Let me know in the comments.

For a different take on the Oregon Ducks, visit

Oregon Ducks, How Do I Love Thee? Let Me Count the Ways.

Months away from the start of the season, one of the things that tide us over is our love for the Ducks.

One of the many Oregon helmets

One of the many Oregon helmets.

Throughout the off season, we remember great games, plays and quoteables, as well as looking forward to what the new season will bring.  We remember the tailgating and gameday house parties of this last year, we shop for new Duck stuff (you don’t need to wait until the season for that) and we miss the feeling of football in the air.

It isn’t possible to list all the reasons why we love our football team — but here are just a few of the (many) reasons.

Oregon is well…Oregon

A pint sized Duck

A pint-sized Duck.

Whether you are a born and raised Duck fan, a tie-died convert or just joining the show, one of the things you love about Oregon football is the Oregon football brand.  If you live in the deep, dark woods of SEC country, or in heart of the ACC, Big Ten, or Big 12, you already know about Oregon football.

At the mention of the word “Ducks,” people start talking about the flashy uniforms, the big plays, the incredible speed and the amazing facilities.  Most are jealous, some are awestruck, but they all know exactly what the Oregon brand entails.

Football, the Oregon Way

Mariota hanging onto the ball

Mariota hanging onto the ball.

Sitting at the edge of your seat, whether at home on your comfy couch or at Autzen Stadium, watching an Oregon football game is more than just exciting.  Our quarterbacks lead the action-pack parade and seem to be getting better at it all the time.

From Akili Smith to Joey Harrington, to Dennis Dixon, Jeremiah Masoli, Darren Thomas and, most recently, Marcus Mariota, each quarterback advances Oregon with lightning-fast leaps and bounds.

In the past 10 years, our running game has given us starters such as Jonathon Stewart, LaMichael James and Kenjon Barner, and brought many future stars such as Byron Marshall and Thomas Tyner, to Oregon.  The future at Oregon remains bright with the great backfield recruits the program continues to attract.

Oregon offensive line

Oregon offensive line

The entire Oregon offense is really amazing to watch.  Every play is explosive and no fourth down is a guaranteed punt.  Remember the fake punt against UCLA?  They move like a well-oiled machine and watching the opposing defenses try to keep up makes for great games for the fans.

Autzen Stadium and the Fans

How can you talk about Oregon and not talk about Autzen Stadium where Duck fans live?  Stepping into Autzen Stadium on game day is a feeling unlike any other.

The electricity, the anticipation and the insanity packed inside the stadium are a nightmare for opposing teams.  The pin-drop silence on important Oregon plays and the deafening roar that makes other teams flinch, send a jolt of satisfaction to every Duck fan (standing and yelling) in the stadium.

Oregon fans, always supportive.

Oregon fans, always supportive.

The trash talk – especially if you happen to be near opposing team fans – the high fives, the groans and/or boos of disapproval when a call doesn’t go Oregon’s way and the screams and shouts of approval when something goes right for Oregon.

It doesn’t matter if you are in the first row of the 50-yard line or at the last row of any section — there are no bad seats.  You soak it all up, you  jump and scream until your voice is gone and you are finally exhausted while cheering our Ducks on to their latest victory.

Keeping it in house

Head coach Mark Helfrich  celebrating a Oregon victory

Head Coach Mark Helfrich celebrating an Oregon victory.

Oregon has an amazing reputation for keeping coaches at Oregon for a large part of their careers and for promoting from within.  Mike Bellotti was Offensive Coordinator for Rich Brooks and became head coach after Coach Brooks left for the NFL.  Mr. Bellotti brought in Chip Kelly, as his Offensive Coordinator (OC), who then became head coach while he, Bellotti, went on to become U of O’s Athletic Director.

When Chip Kelly left the Ducks for the Philadelphia Eagles, Oregon once again promoted from within as OC Mark Helfrich was promoted to head coach.

When Nick Allioti retired at the end of the 2013 football season, no one was surprised that the Ducks looked inward to find their next DC, Don Pellum.  No one can deny that promoting from within and keeping coaches happy so they stay at Oregon, hasn’t helped the Ducks become one of the strongest programs in the country.

The Great Life Mantra

Win the Day.  Everyone knows exactly what it is and what it means to both the team and to the fans. They both have bought into focusing on one day at a time and giving that one day everything you’ve got.  Win the Day means winning against a nameless, faceless opponent.  It means preparing for and playing against every team as if they were the best.  Giving everyone the same respect and working their hardest to come out a winner.

What started out as an inspirational tool for the team, has become as much of a part of Duck football lore as anything.  Before heading out onto the field, players slap the ‘Win the Day’ emblazoned in the tunnel.  And most of the time, they do just that — they Win the Day.

Ready to live out the Mantra

Ready to live out the Mantra.

During the offseason, there remain a few Duck football tibdits during the drought of excitement — the recruiting, spring practices, preseason news and summer training camp.  But it is the love of our Duck football team that keeps us going, until we once again enjoy the electric anticipation when they take the field in the fall.

 Top Photo by Kevin Cline



Florida State, Auburn headed to BCS championship game

It’s the end of an era. The very last BCS rankings were revealed on Sunday and, as expected, the championship game will be played between No. 1 Florida State and No. 2 Auburn. The Seminoles secured their berth this past Saturday with a win over Duke while Auburn did so in the SEC championship game…

Oregon Hopes To Rebound in Pac-12 Tournament


Coming off two disappointing losses to end the season, Oregon will have to rebound when they start their postseason Thursday in the Pac-12 tournament.

Oregon (23-8, 12-6) led in the Pac-12 standings for most of the season but was clearly fatigued and came out empty against Utah and Colorado last week. Oregon finished the season third in the Pac-12 behind the UCLA Bruins and Cal Bears.

Senior EJ Singler hopes to get back the Ducks momentum in time for the Pac-12 tournament. (AP Photo/Don Ryan)
Senior EJ Singler hopes to get back the Ducks momentum in time for the Pac-12 tournament. (AP Photo/Don Ryan)

A good sign for the Ducks is that, while they dropped the final two games of the season against Colorado and Utah, they haven’t lost more than two games in-a-row during the entire season.

Oregon will play either Washington or Washington State on Thursday in the second round, which should prove good for Oregon as they swept both schools this season.  Oregon’s sweep of the Washington schools was its first since the 1989-1990 season.

Oregon needs to win at least one game in the Pac-12 tournament to feel comfortable about receiving a bid to the NCAA tournament.  This year’s Oregon team compares well to the Washington Huskies 2011-2012 team that missed the tournament despite finishing atop the Pac-12 conference at 24-11, 14-4. Washington lost in the first round of the Pac-12 tournament last year to Oregon State and had to accept an invitation into the NIT.

If Oregon does beat one of the Washington schools in the second round, they might face the Cal-Berkeley Golden Bears in the third round. Cal swept Oregon during the regular season, but Cal won only both games by a combined six points.

Oregon’s Keys to the Tournament:

Free throw shooting
Point guard play.

Led behind its great depth in the frontline with Arsalan Kazemi, Tony Woods, Ben Carter and Waverly Austin, Oregon has been great in rebounding for most of the season. The Ducks had the 20th best rebounding margin in the nation, and first in the Pac-12.

Free throw shooting has also been a struggle for the Ducks. Shooting at a 70.5 percent clip, Oregon is 136th in the nation in from the line. Oregon shot fifty percent from the free throw line in their final two games. Starting point guard Dominic Artis is shooting 68.6 percent from the free throw line and backup point guard Johnathan Loyd is shooting an even worse 57.8 percent. In the three games since Artis returned to the lineup, he has averaged 5 points and 1.6 assists a game. If Artis can get back into his mid-season groove during the tournament, the Ducks will fare well.

Oregon has the tools to do it, but they have to put it all together and perform in the tournament. This will be a make or break weekend for the Ducks that could decide their tournament lives.

Behind a Career Night By Johnathan Loyd, Oregon Defeats Stanford 77-66

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Oregon did everything right against Stanford Saturday night, and avenged its worst loss of the season in the process. After a disappointing 48-46 loss to Cal Thursday, Oregon’s balanced scoring and points off turnovers propelled them to a 77-66 victory. The win took away the chance for the Bay Area schools to sweep the Ducks, and payback for its 24 point loss to Stanford earlier in the season.

Junior John Loyd has the game of his life in the Ducks victory. Photo credit: Eric Evans
Junior John Loyd has the game of his life in the Ducks victory. Photo credit: Eric Evans

Junior point guard Johnathan Loyd said the revenge was sweet for the Ducks.

“Anytime you get blown out by 25, it’s always going to be payback,” Loyd said. “That was in the back of everybody’s mind.”

Oregon had four players score in double figures, led by Carlos Emory‘s 19 points. Emory had 17 of those points in the second half. Loyd also had a big game for the Ducks with season highs in points (15) and assists (9). Loyd was ecstatic with his play after struggles in past games.

“I needed [this game]. My teammates have been putting faith in me.” Loyd said. “They have been telling me they believe in me, they trust me. They knew I could do it so I just stepped up.”

Loyd said he heard Stanford’s bench talking about how he couldn’t guard Aaron Bright and Loyd took that personally. The difference for Loyd was hitting shots early and building up his confidence.

“I was just making sure that the first shot I took was one that I really wanted to take, and it was a good one and I was going to knock it down,” Loyd said. “Because I was having a solid game all around I hit a couple shots and when that happens, all my energy just picks up because I feel like i’m contributing more.”

Head coach Dana Altman called Loyd after Thursday’s loss to Cal to tell him to keep his head up. Altman said he was very happy for Loyd and his play tonight.

“To see him have a ball game like that and just absolutely be the difference in the game,” Altman said. “There’s no one who cares about our team more than Johnny.”

The Ducks were stingy on offense and defense tonight. Photo Credit: Eric Evans
The Ducks were stingy on offense and defense tonight. Photo Credit: Eric Evans

The turnover battle was also a key to the Ducks’ victory, as they held a 17-13 advantage over Stanford tonight. Oregon also had 25 points off turnovers and 12 steals on the game.

Oregon broke open in the game in the second half, after a four point halftime lead. A 16-6 run put the Ducks in the lead for good, 51-36. The Ducks also led by 24 points at one time. Stanford struggled to score early in the second half, shooting 2-11 from the field midway through the second half. Stanford finished shooting 37.7 percent, much to do with leading scorer Dwight Powell’s foul trouble throughout the game. Powell finished with 16 points, 12 in the first half, but had to be taken out after he got his fourth foul two minutes into the second half.

Oregon was shot over 48 percent from the field and attacked the basket all night, leading to 42 points in the paint. Oregon took smart shots all game even though they were only 2-7 from the three-point line. Woods said the Ducks strength is in attacking the basket.

“We’re just a better team when we attack the basket and we did a lot of that tonight.” Woods said.

And Loyd said opponents have to respect all the players on the floor when everyone contributes.

“It spreads the floor.” Loyd said. “If we’re all hitting shots and being aggressive they have to guard all of us.”

The win puts the Ducks in a tie for first place in the Pac-12 with Arizona at 11-4. The win was also the 600th for Altman in his career. Altman said starting point guard Dominic Artis, who was out for his ninth straight game, will hopefully be back for the Civil War game. With three Pac-12 games left, including the Ducks last home game against Oregon State, Oregon is in the race to be the conference champions.

“If we win out we’ll be the champions.” Loyd said. “We’ve just gotta take it one game at a time and keep getting W’s.”

A. Brown 19 1-4 0-1 1-2 0 2 1 1 1 1 1 3
J. Huestis 35 4-9 1-1 3-4 3 13 0 0 0 5 2 12
A. Bright 29 0-4 0-1 4-6 0 1 2 0 0 4 3 4
D. Powell 23 6-11 1-2 3-3 2 6 0 0 1 1 4 16
C. Randle 32 3-7 2-4 4-4 0 2 3 0 0 4 2 12
G. Harris 10 2-5 0-2 1-2 0 1 0 1 0 0 1 5
J. Gage 15 0-4 0-3 0-0 2 2 0 0 1 1 2 0
R. Lemons 11 1-4 0-2 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 2
S. Nastic 3 0-0 0-0 2-2 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 2
R. Allen 13 2-4 0-1 0-0 0 1 1 4 0 0 0 4
C. Sanders 7 1-1 0-0 4-4 0 0 1 0 0 1 1 6
G. Verhoeven 3 0-0 0-0 0-0 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0
20-53 4-17 22-27 8 29 8 6 3 17 18 66
37.7% 23.5% 81.5%  
E.J. Singler 27 4-10 1-2 3-4 0 4 1 0 1 1 4 12
A. Kazemi 32 6-8 0-0 3-4 0 7 2 5 2 5 1 15
T. Woods 23 4-6 0-0 1-4 6 9 1 0 1 2 2 9
J. Loyd 37 6-8 1-2 2-2 0 0 9 3 0 1 3 15
D. Dotson 27 3-10 0-1 0-0 0 4 0 2 0 0 1 6
C. Emory 28 7-13 0-2 5-5 1 5 0 1 0 2 3 19
B. Carter 9 0-3 0-0 0-0 2 3 0 0 0 1 3 0
W. Moore 6 0-1 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 0
W. Austin 11 0-3 0-0 1-2 0 0 0 1 2 0 2 1
30-62 2-7 15-21 9 32 13 12 6 13 20 77
    48.4% 28.6% 71.4%              

Cal Takes Down Oregon 48-46, For 11th Straight Win Over UO

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Oregon is making a habit of not being able to make shots in late game situations. After going scoreless in last four minutes of its first meeting against Cal, the Ducks once again came up short Thursday against the Golden Bears.

Freshman Damyean Dotson did a good job defending Cal's Allen Crabbe all game, but it wasn't enough for the Ducks. Credit: Eric Evans
Freshman Damyean Dotson did a good job defending Cal’s Allen Crabbe all game, but it wasn’t enough for the Ducks. Credit: Eric Evans

After a missed jumper by Damyean Dotson set up a last shot for Cal, Justin Cobbs hit a game winner as the buzzer sounded to make the score 48-46. Oregon shot 27.6 percent from the field, 25.9 percent in the second half and was scoreless the last two minutes of the game. The game was back and forth throughout, as the score was tied eight times and changed six times.

Oregon wasn’t good in any aspect of shooting, as they went 2-15 from the three point line and 12-20 from the free throw line. The Ducks struggles from the charity strike was the biggest disappointment for head coach Dana Altman.

“We got to the line, we just didn’t finish enough free throws,” Altman said. “I think that was as big a thing as anything.”

The win for Cal makes it 11 straight for the Golden Bears against Oregon. The streak dates back to 2008 when Ernie Kent was still the coach for the Ducks and E.J. Singler was a senior at South Medford High School.

The loss drops Oregon to 21-6 on the season and 10-4 in conference. Oregon is now in a tie for first place with Arizona. Cal moves to 17-9 on the season and is currently on a five game winning streak.

Oregon was in the bonus at the 13:14 mark in the second half but only shot 6 free throws from that point on. Two of those free throws were missed by freshman Ben Carter to keep the score 41-41. Singler struggled all night, leading to 7 points on 1-12 shooting. He spoke to media after the game about the loss.

Singler EJ Singler struggled shooting and went 1-7 from three point range. Credit: Eric Evans
Singler EJ Singler struggled shooting and went 1-7 from three point range. Credit: Eric Evans

“Just hurts. I thought we had it today. It’s a tough game to lose.” Singler also said the Ducks gave up too many baskets down the stretch, as Oregon was outscored 10-4 in transition.

“Down the stretch we let them get too easy transition points,” Singler said.

Cal’s two stars, Cobbs and Allen Crabbe had 14 and 12 points respectively. The two had 17 combined points in the second half, fueling Cal to a victory. Singler spoke about the game winner from Cobbs.

“We were playing great D, but he made a great shot.”

After the first game against Cal, Arsalan Kazemi said he let his coach down and responded with 11 points, 18 rebounds and four steals. Those 18 rebounds were a season high for Kazemi and gave him his 52nd double double of his career. It was one rebound shy of tying his career high.

Oregon outscored Cal’s bench 17-8, led by Carlos Emory‘s team high 13 points. Oregon also owned a 15-2 advantage in second chance points and won the turnover battle 16-10. While those are the stats that usually indicate a win for Oregon, its poor shooting was too much to overcome.

As Altman said “We did a lot of good things, we just didn’t finish.” The Ducks will look to come back strong Saturday when they face 15-11 Stanford at 6 p.m.

R. Solomon 29 3-9 0-0 2-2 4 11 1 0 2 2 4 8
D. Kravish 33 1-5 0-0 0-0 0 7 1 1 2 0 3 2
J. Cobbs 38 6-11 0-0 2-4 0 8 7 0 1 8 1 14
A. Crabbe 36 5-12 1-4 1-2 0 5 1 1 0 2 3 12
T. Wallace 31 2-5 0-0 0-0 1 2 1 0 1 2 4 4
B. Bak 4 0-1 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0
B. Smith 15 0-3 0-2 0-0 0 2 2 1 0 0 2 0
R. Thurman 14 3-3 0-0 2-4 0 2 0 1 0 2 1 8
20-49 1-6 7-12 5 37 13 4 6 16 19 48
    40.8% 16.7% 58.3%
E.J. Singler 34 1-12 1-7 4-6 2 7 2 0 0 2 3 7
A. Kazemi 31 3-9 0-0 5-7 5 18 0 4 1 0 1 11
T. Woods 24 1-3 0-0 0-1 1 3 1 0 0 0 1 2
J. Loyd 35 0-6 0-2 0-0 0 1 4 5 0 3 1 0
D. Dotson 28 4-12 0-4 1-2 1 3 1 0 0 3 1 9
C. Emory 26 5-11 1-2 2-2 3 4 0 0 0 1 3 13
B. Carter 8 0-1 0-0 0-2 0 0 0 2 1 0 0 0
W. Moore 5 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 1 0 0 0 0 1 0
W. Austin 9 2-4 0-0 0-0 1 1 0 1 1 1 1 4
16-58 2-15 12-20 13 38 8 12 3 10 12 46
    27.6% 13.3% 60.0%

Ducks Come Alive in Second Half To Defeat Utah 73-64

Arsalan Kazemi's hustle helped propel the Ducks to a nine point victory
Arsalan Kazemi’s hustle helped propel the Ducks to a nine point victory

Behind a 19-2 run in the second half, Oregon ended its three game losing streak by defeating the Utah Utes 73-64. Oregon took its first lead midway through the second half 44-43 and didn’t relinquish the lead from then on.

The Ducks dominated the glass all game, out rebounding Utah 41-19. Oregon also held a 24-6 advantage in second chance points and had as many offensive rebounds as Utah had total rebounds. Oregon shot 48 percent in the second half, 18 percent higher than their total in the first period, behind the insertion of a small lineup for most of the half.

After being down 30-22 at halftime, Oregon scored 51 points in the second and ended the game with 15 straight free throws. Three Ducks finished in double figures scoring, led by E.J. Singler‘s game high 21 points. Head coach Dana Altman said the tipping point to give the Ducks momentum was Singler’s three point basket to cut Utah’s lead to one 32-31.

From there, senior forward Arsalan Kazemi gave the Ducks its first lead of the second half on a free throw. Coach Altman said Kazemi’s performance in the second half was as good of a half as he’s had all season.

“Second half he was unbelievable – blocking shots, rebounding, starting our break and making plays. He was the difference in the game.” Altman said.

Kazemi finished with 11 points and 14 rebounds, and said “little plays, hustle plays, that’s what gets the team going. And we had a lot of those plays tonight, especially in the second half.”

Freshman Damyean Dotson said while Kazemi is usually quiet, he was screaming at his teammates during halftime, imploring them to do better in the second half. That is a sight Dotson had never seen in his teammate before, and that it fired up the team.

Dotson was a driving force towards the Ducks’ second half play, scoring 13 points in the second half. Before the game, Dotson was shown a video of his play earlier in the season, and knew he had to step up, be more aggressive and take over the game.

“It wasn’t me just thinking I had to take over, it was me knowing I had to take over.” Dotson said. “I knew I had to step up in the second half because I haven’t been doing that lately.” On his mindset when taking over the game Dotson said he knew he just had to score. “I was just thinking catch and shoot I guess. Score, you gotta score. This is what you came here for.”

Dotson has struggled without his backcourt mate Dominic Artis, scoring under double digits in the four previous games Artis had missed. But Dotson thought this game was a break-though.

Oregon's E.J. Singler reaches for the block
Oregon’s E.J. Singler reaches for the block

“I feel like this was a break in game because it was the middle of the season. The beginning of the season I was doing good. All the staff was talking to me like we need you, you have to come out. They inspired me this game.”

Utah shot 41 percent in the second half, 16 percent lower than its total in the first half. In the first half the duo of Utah’s Jordan Loveridge and Jason Washburn outscored Oregon’s whole team 24-22. But Loveridge was shutout in the second half, scoring 0 points on 0-7 shooting. Head coach Dana Altman used a press in the second half and said it changed the rhythm of the game.

Altman tried to tell his team that they were 18-2 before earlier in the season for a reason, and that they had to play up to their ability. Freshman point guard Dominic Artis was injured on the bench for the fifth straight game. While Altman said he doesn’t have a status on Artis, he will visit a doctor on Monday.

Oregon improves to 19-5 on the season and 8-3 in conference play. Oregon is now tied in second place in the Pac-12 with UCLA, one game out of the Arizona’s Pac-12 lead, and will face Washington on the road February 13th.

No. 19 Oregon Loses to Colorado 48-47, Breaking 20 Game Home Winning Streak


Colorado only had the lead for the last 23 seconds of the game, but that’s all they needed.

Oregon was held scoreless the last 4:23 of the game, and an Andre Roberson put back lifted Colorado to a 48-47 victory. The loss broke the Ducks 20 game home winning streak, which was the sixth longest streak in the nation. The loss also sends Oregon into a three game skid and pushes them from first place in the Pac-12 conference.

E.J Singler's last second shot to win the game was tipped and the Ducks just couldn't pull out the game. Credit: Bruce Ely The Oregonian
E.J Singler’s last second shot to win the game was tipped and the Ducks just couldn’t pull out the game. (Bruce Ely The Oregonian)

Colorado finished the game on an 8-0 run, and held a 17-8 advantage in second chance points. Oregon head coach Dana Altman said the second chance points and offensive rebounds were the difference in the game.

Another place for concern for Altman was shooting, where the Ducks finished 36 percent from the field and 29.6 percent in the second half. Seniors E.J. Singler and Carlos Emory had a game high 14 points.

“We need to hit some shots. They were packing it in on us really tight. Our inability to knock down shots is really hurting us right now,” Altman said.

Oregon committed eight turnovers in the second half, but none more costly than the five they committed in the last five minutes.  It was the second game in a row Oregon didn’t finish, after they were held scoreless in the last four minutes of their loss to Cal-Berkeley 58-54.

“We had really bad turnovers on the offensive end. It’s a tough loss, especially coming on the heels of the Cal game.”

Senior center Tony Woods said the Ducks just didn’t execute down the stretch.

“We weren’t able to take care of it when it counted the last four minutes.” Woods said.

On the last play of the game E.J. Singler had the ball at the top of the key with the chance to win the game, but Colorado’s Spencer Dinwiddie tipped the ball to force an airball. Singler thought Dinwiddie got a piece of his hand, but said it was hard to make a foul call like that down the stretch. Oregon’s offense has been stagnant in the three games starting point guard Dominic Artis has missed. With Artis out of the lineup, the Ducks are scoring 14 points a game and Altman recognized Artis’ absence limits them in so many ways.

“[Artis] spreads the floor. With our inability to hit perimeter shots, the floor is shrunk and it’s made it really tough to drive to the basket.” Altman said.  It’s tough to throw it inside because there’s a lot of people in there.”

Oregon will now have to focus their efforts to Saturday’s home contest against 10-12 Utah.

“This is a rallying point,” Altman said. “We’ve got to come together here, our team does, our fans. We know we’ve disappointed in the last two games. We have to figure a way out of it and we need a lot of energy in that building on Saturday.”

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