Oregon lights up Northwest Christian in 124-72 exhibition win
Oregon men’s basketball ended its home exhibition slate with a demolition of neighboring NAIA school Northwest Christian, beating the Beacons 124-72.
Payton Pritchard led the way for Oregon. The sophomore finished with a game-high 25 points, shot 4-of-5 from three, and added four assists in his 20 minutes of action. 10 different Ducks scored, with six of them scoring in double-figures.
“Got an opportunity to play most guys about 20 minutes there, which is what I wanted to do,” head coach Dana Altman said. “So we were able to move things around. We’ve got potential but we’ve got a tremendous amount of work to do.”
Oregon’s started the game with a lineup featuring four freshmen. Troy Brown Jr., Kenny Wooten, Victor Bailey Jr. and Abu Kigab took the first the run at the Beacons. Redshirt senior and transfer MiKyle McIntosh rounded out the five.
“We’ll figure out starting lineup here in the next two weeks,” Altman said. “It will be a work in progress … won’t have anything edged in stone until January. There’s a lot of moving parts there that we’ve got to figure out how they blend together, how they work together but I do like the guys.”
With so many young players who haven’t played much together, improving team chemistry is a focal point heading into the season.
“The chemistry here is really good for a team that’s just met each other and is just getting together,” McIntosh said. “I’m really liking how we’re getting along.”
The second half starters looked like Oregon’s best unit with Pritchard, Wooten, Troy Brown Jr., Elijah Brown and McIntosh on the floor. They stayed out for until the first media timeout with 15:46 left in the half.
After entering the game in the first half, Elijah Brown started to take control, dishing out assists and hitting several buckets. He was 5-of-6 and 3-of-4 from behind the arc, for 13 points at halftime.
Elijah Brown finished the night with 22 points, on 8-of-10 shooting from the field, including 4-of-5 from three-point range.
“Every time he shoots it you feel pretty good,” Altman said. “We’ve talked to him about getting open and taking good ones. Defenses are gonna start getting to him. He’s the one proven scorer that we have.”
Troy Brown Jr. was the facilitator for the Ducks, notching nine assists in 23 minutes.
“I love passing the basketball,” Troy Brown said. “That’s something that makes me happy, seeing my teammates get buckets and stuff like that so hopefully I can keep that there and keep on being aggressive and making plays for my teammates.”
McIntosh and Wooten were two of Oregon’s stronger defensive players. McIntosh had four steals and five rebounds to go with his 12 points while Wooten managed three blocks and six rebounds to go along with his 15 points.
“He didn’t play a lot of basketball last year,” Altman said of Wooten. “I think he can really contest shots, he doesn’t have the timing or the feel that Chris [Boucher] and Jordan [Bell] did a year ago. But I think that can come as he gets more aware of what we’re trying to do defensively.”
Oregon will play one final scrimmage on Nov. 4 against Oklahoma in Las Vegas before it’s regular-season opener on Nov. 10 against Coppin State.
Follow Shawn Medow on Twitter @ShawnMedow
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