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Balanced Ducks Fell Cardinal
Release Date: 01/10/2016
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by Rob Moseley

EUGENE, Ore. — Oregon completed a sweep of the Bay Area schools for the week, beating Stanford 71-58 on Sunday before 7,318 in Matthew Knight Arena.

How It Happened: The Ducks (13-3, 2-1 Pac-12) spent the first half trying to figure out Stanford’s zone defense, and the second half picking it apart. After recording just nine assists in Wednesday’s win over California, Oregon had 11 in the second half alone Sunday, on 14 field goals as the Ducks extended what was a 28-24 halftime lead.

Oregon’s best sequence came midway through the second half, as Casey Benson found Dwayne Benjamin for a corner three and a 48-38 lead. That began a stretch of six straight field goals that were assisted on, with Dillon Brooks setting up Benjamin for a dunk, Tyler Dorsey feeding Chris Boucher for a layin and Benson setting up Brooks on the next three trips. That sequence gave Oregon its first double-digit lead, and Stanford (9-6, 2-2) never got closer than seven the rest of the way.

The Ducks went nearly five minutes without scoring midway through the first half, after a Dorsey three-pointer made it 9-9. But Stanford scored just three times during that stretch, and Oregon fought back into a tie at 17-17 on a Benson three-pointer. Another Benson three moments later put the UO men up 24-22, and Dorsey hit an acrobatic floater just before the halftime buzzer with three defenders in his face for a 28-24 lead.

Who Stood Out: Oregon’s balance was again on display, with six players scoring at least eight points. Brooks led the Ducks in points (15), rebounds (10) and assists (seven), with Bell also grabbing 10 boards as the Ducks outrebounded Stanford 38-22. Dorsey and Benjamin each scored 12, Benson had nine points with six assists and Boucher scored nine, blocked five shots and grabbed five rebounds. Brooks was also tasked with slowing down Stanford’s Michael Humphrey, who scored a game-high 18 points but was scoreless over the final 14:47.

What It Means: The Ducks put a tough week firmly in the rearview mirror, recovering from their loss to Oregon State the previous Sunday, the season-ending injury to Dylan Ennis and the transfer of Trevor Manuel.

Dana Altman, UO head coach
“Second-chance points was the difference in the game. We were 16-3 there, and win by 13. So the rebounding was the difference.”

Casey Benson, UO sophomore
“When you assist that much, obviously you’re going to get good shots. That’s a big key for us, sharing the ball, making them defend and getting easy baskets.”

Dillon Brooks, UO sophomore
“Losing to our rivals just made us want to play harder. We got our butts kicked (in Corvallis last week). It fired us up more to play defense and rebound the basketball.”

Notable: With his five blocks, Boucher reached 53 for the season, second all-time at Oregon in a single season. Jordan Bell set the record of 94 last spring. … After making just 50 percent of their free throws (13-of-26) in Wednesday’s win over Cal, Oregon went 16-of-22 as a team Sunday, including 11-of-12 to close out the game. … Brooks’ double-double was his third of the second and the fifth of his career. His seven assists were a career high.

Up Next: The Ducks play at Utah on Thursday (7 p.m. PT, Pac-12 Networks).

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