NO. 21 DUCKS TRAVEL TO LOS ANGELES FOR GAMES AT USC, No. 24 UCLA
The 21st-ranked Oregon men’s basketball team hits the road for just the fourth and fifth time this season to take on conference rivals USC and 24th-ranked UCLA. Thursday’s tip-time at USC is scheduled for 8 p.m.; the game will be televised on ESPNU. On Saturday, the Ducks play UCLA at Pauley Pavilion on CBS at 1 p.m.
Oregon is 14-2 overall and a perfect 3-0 in the Pac-12 conference. The Ducks have won five straight games and 9 of 10 overall. Meanwhile, USC enters the week 7-10 overall (2-2 Pac-12) and UCLA leads the Pac-12 with a 4-0 record. The Bruins are 14-3 overall and have won nine consecutive games, including seven in a row at Pauley Pavilion.
OREGON RANKED NATIONALLY FOR THE FIRST TIME SINCE 2007
The Ducks’ wins over then-No. 4 Arizona and Arizona State last week propelled them to their first national ranking since being ranked 23rd in the Associated Press poll on Dec. 17, 2007. That same week, the Ducks lost to Oakland (Dec. 23, 2007) to knock them out of the Dec. 24 rankings. Oregon is currently ranked 21st in the AP Poll; the Pac-12 has three teams ranked in this week’s Associated Press Top-25 Poll (No. 7 Arizona, No. 21 Oregon, No. 24 UCLA).
OREGON OUTLASTS ARIZONA STATE
EUGENE, Ore. (AP) - Tony Woods scored 14 points for Oregon, including the go-ahead dunk in the final minutes, as the Ducks held on to defeat Arizona State 68-65 on Sunday night.
Damyean Dotson and Carlos Emory scored 14 points apiece for Oregon (14-2, 3-0 Pac-12), and Dominic Artis added 10.
Jahii Carson scored 20 points, and Evan Gordon had 17 for the Sun Devils (14-3, 3-1).
Carson’s potential game-tying 3-pointer at the buzzer was wide.
A 3-pointer by Felix with 2:08 to play put Arizona State up 60-59, but Woods answered for the Ducks with a two-handed slam to give Oregon a 61-60 advantage with 1:44 remaining.
Oregon went 7 of 8 from the free-throw line in the final minute to seal the win.
The Ducks used a 7-2 run in the final 3 minutes of the first half to lead 32-28 at halftime.
DUCKS SEARCHING FOR FIRST 4-0 CONFERENCE START IN NEARLY 40 YEARS
Oregon is 3-0 in the Pac-12 for the first time since the 2001-02 season, when the conference was known as the Pac-10. The Ducks have not started 4-0 in conference play since they were members of the Pac-8 during the 1973-74 season.
DUCKS EXTEND HOME-COURT WINNING STREAK TO 18 GAMES
With wins over Arizona and Arizona State, Oregon has now won 18 straight games at Matthew Knight Arena. The Ducks won six straight at home to wrap up the 2011-12 season; their last loss at home came on Jan. 29, 2012 against Oregon State (76-71). Oregon’s winning streak at home is currently tied for sixth-best in the nation.
UO DOWNS ARIZONA SCHOOLS FOR FIFTH TIME IN EIGHT YEARS
Oregon’s 70-66 win over Arizona and 68-65 triumph over Arizona State last week marks the second straight season that the Ducks have beaten both schools in the same season and fifth time they have accomplished the feat in the last eight years. Oregon also did so during the 2005-06, 2006-07 and 2007-08 campaigns.
CLUTCH FREE THROWS TAKE DOWN SUN DEVILS
Oregon extended its winning streak to three games over Arizona State on Sunday night thanks in large part to its performance at the charity stripe. The Ducks made 7 of 8 free throws down the stretch and shot 14-of-15 (93.3 percent) from the line for the night. UO’s free throw shooting performance was its best since converting all 11 free throw attempts in an 86-83 loss at California on Feb. 16, 2012.
DUCKS OVERCOME POOR SHOOTING NIGHT AT HOME
UO overcame its second-worst shooting percentage at home this season to beat Arizona State on Sunday night. The Ducks shot just 24-of-59 (40.7 percent) from the field; they only put up a lower number at home on Dec. 31 against Nevada when they shot at a 39.5 percent clip. Oregon’s victory over the Sun Devils marked the first time it beat an opponent when shooting a lower percentage than the opposition (ASU shot 47.3 percent from the field). The Ducks are a perfect 13-0 when shooting better than their opponent.
HEATING UP FROM BEHIND THE ARC
After shooting a combined 9-of-34 (26.5 percent) from three-point range against Nevada (Dec. 31) and Oregon State (Jan. 6), the Ducks have found their groove from behind the arc. Oregon shot 13-of-22 (59.1 percent) from three-point land in its wins over Arizona and Arizona State, its best two-game stretch of the season. In fact, the Ducks have shot over 50 percent from deep just one other time this season, hitting nine of their 16 attempts (56.3 percent) in a Dec. 22 win over Houston Baptist. Oregon was 7-of-11 against Arizona and 6-of-11 versus Arizona State.
SINGLER APPROACHING ALL-TIME TOP-10 IN STEALS CATEGORY
Senior forward E.J. Singler picked up two steals in Oregon’s win over Arizona State on Sunday evening to give him 95 for his career. He is just eight steals away from tying Tajuan Porter and Garrett Sim for 10th on Oregon’s all-time steals list. Porter and Sim each tallied 103 steals in their four-year careers with the Ducks.
SINGLER CONTINUES TO CLIMB UO’S ALL-TIME SCORING LIST
E.J. Singler scored seven points on Sunday night to bring his career total to 1,278. He currently ranks 17th all-time and is just 23 points away from catching Charlie Warren (1,301) for 16th all-time. Last week, Singler passed Maarty Leunen and Terrell Brandon, who are 19th and 18th, respectively, on Oregon’s all-time scoring list.
SINGLER BROTHERS STILL SIT IN 20TH ALL-TIME IN BROTHER SCORING COMBINATIONS
E.J. Singler and brother Kyle Singler, who played four years (2007-11) and won a national championship at Duke University (2010) have combined for 3,685 in their careers. They currently rank 20th all-time in brother scoring combinations. Other active scoring combinations include the Curry family; Steph and Seth Curry are now in sixth place with 4,393 points after Seth netted 22 points in Duke’s loss to NC State over the weeked to pass the Person and Marbury families.
WOODS FOUR BLOCKS SHY OF THIRD ALL-TIME
Tony Woods played his first two years of collegiate basketball at Wake Forest but he has made a lasting impact during his last two years of eligibility in Eugene, Ore. Woods, a senior center, has blocked 72 shots in his 49 games as an Oregon Duck (nearly 1.5 bpg). His 72 career blocks rank sixth in Oregon history and he is just two blocks away from tying Henry Madden and Fred Jones, who each recorded 74 career blocks, for fourth all-time. Three more blocks would tie him with Chris Christoffersen (75 career blocks) for third place in Oregon history and four additional blocks would give Woods third place all to himself. Woods’ career-high for blocks in a single game is five, which he has done twice, most recently on Nov. 19, 2012 in Oregon’s win over Jacksonville State.
DUCKS DEFENSE HAS HELD FIVE OPPONENTS UNDER 50 POINTS
Oregon’s 56-43 win over Nevada on Dec. 31 at Matthew Knight Arena marked the fifth time this season that the Ducks have held an opponent under 50 points during a game. The five games is the most by a Duck team in 30 years and the most since the 1982-83 team held seven opponents to less than 50 points. Overall, dating back to the 1938-39 National Championship team, the five sub-50 point efforts by Ducks’ opponents ranks 15th all-time, with 13 of the 15 coming before the 1960-61 season.
KAZEMI, ARTIS PACE CONFERENCE IN STEALS; KAZEMI THIRD IN REBOUNDING
Senior Arsalan Kazemi enters the week averaging 2.6 steals per game, which leads the Pac-12 and ranks in the top-15 nationally. Freshman Dominic Artis comes into the game with 2.0 steals per contest, good enough for fourth place in the conference. Additionally, Kazemi is averaging 9.7 rebounds per game, which ranks third in the Pac-12.