Altman earns 600th career win as Oregon trounces Alabama State
The players on Oregon’s bench rose to their feet as redshirt senior walk-on Evan Gross put his head down and drove to the hoop within the final 30 seconds of play.
He cut to his left, leaped and kissed a left-handed layup off the glass and in to send many of the fans still in attendance to their feet.
Everyone was getting in on the act.
Oregon (3-0) scored a season-high points in a 114-56 over Alabama State (0-4) on Friday night at Matthew Knight Arena. The blowout had extra significance as head coach Dana Altman earned his 600th career win.
“You just think about all the players that you’ve been fortunate enough to coach,” Altman said. “Twenty-eight-plus years at this level, just really good guys to work with.”
The win also increases Oregon’s nation-leading home win streak to 45 games.
The Ducks came out with force, forcing Alabama State to call a timeout inside the first two minutes of the game.
“You can’t take any team for granted. These are all Division I basketball teams at the end of the day,” Elijah Brown said.
Troy Brown lit up the court in the first half, making all of his first five attempts to give him 13 points by halftime. He also had a rebound, two assists and a steal at the half, but his contribution dwindled in the second half as he failed to score from four attempts.
Oregon’s tempo was causing problems for the Hornets, who gave up 11 turnovers in the first half. The Ducks outscored the visitors 15-0 on the fast break in the first half. One example was when, midway through the opening half, Keith Smith stripped Alabama State’s Terrance LeFlore and passed the ball to Victor Bailey Jr., who sped up the court for a dunk.
— Oregon Basketball (@OregonMBB) November 18, 2017
That fast-break offense wasn’t limited to just dunks. Oregon spread the ball along the perimeter, knocking down 3s, which were scored by eight different players for a total 62.5 percent efficiency.
Kenny Wooten played a powerful role for the Ducks too, finishing with 19 points, 13 rebounds and five blocks. He managed not to foul out after playing nearly half of the second half with four fouls.
“Everything Kenny does is extremely impressive,” Elijah Brown said. “He protects the rim at a very high level, and for a freshman to go up and make that play, you know most guys would go up and try and swat at the ball or try and do something crazy but he went up like coach Altman has been telling us: with two hands, verticality.”
Bailey Jr. finished the game with 18 points and a plus/minus rating of +41 while Elijah Brown ended the night with 15 points, three rebounds and six assists.
The Ducks play Ball State on Sunday before they head up to Portland for the PK 80 on Thursday
Follow Shawn Medow on Twitter @ShawnMedow
Do you appreciate independent student journalism? Emerald Media Group is a non-profit organization. Please consider a donation to support our mission.