Ducks’ shooting the difference in Civil War rematch
It has been 22 days since the Civil War rivals battled it out on the court when Oregon fell in its biggest losing deficit of the season to Oregon State.
Twenty-two days of training and playing other Pac-12 schools. Each coming into tonight’s rematch with the same conference record after three weeks of playing the same opponents.
Oregon has played four-games since losing to Oregon State, 76-64.
“We looked at ourselves in the mirror after that game,” Oregon forward Paul White said. “We realized that we would have to do some maturing as individuals and as a team.”
In Saturday night’s rematch, Oregon showcased their improvement after defeating the Beavers 66-57 at Matthew Knight Arena.
The 22-day separation paid off.
“We got kicked in Corvallis when we didn’t play very well,” head coach Dana Altman said. “Our ball movement was better … we defended the 3 better than we did over there. Better effort defensively than what we had over there, evened out the rebounds instead of getting beat. Our defensive rebounds were better than what they were three weeks ago.”
After the disappointment of losing the season’s first Civil War, Oregon turned it around with an upset win over No. 11 Arizona State on Jan. 11, the beginning of an improved Oregon team.
Even with back-to-back losses against No. 17 Arizona and USC, the Ducks still wouldn’t shoot as poorly as they did against Oregon State. And in last week’s win against UCLA, Oregon shot percent better than its 36.2 percent, it even had at least six assists more in each of the four games.
Oregon showcased its readiness in the first half of Saturday’s game. With fueled motivation for redemption, the Ducks shot through a 65.2 percent in field goals, over 30 percent more than their first half against the Beavers in Corvallis.
In addition, the Ducks improved their 3-point percentage, free throw percentage, assists and blocks all from the rivals’ first matchup.
“Our biggest difference was our activity defensively,” Altman said. “Seventeen deflections that turned into 17 points, off of turnovers.”
After the loss in Corvallis and what was arguably Payton Pritchard’s worst game of the season, Altman told him that he wanted to see him take more of a leadership role on the court
Pritchard may have only scored seven points in tonight’s game, his lowest per single game all season, but he showed a better sense of team-leadership as he helped the team with seven assists—six more than his game on Jan. 5.
“I think after the first Civil War, I did try to be more vocal,” Pritchard said. “I know for me, my shoots will come, but that’s what I have to do to make this team win.”
Even with the win, the Ducks still showed a lack of consistency. In the second half, a tiring Oregon team allowed the Beavers to take advantage and get as close as eight to the Ducks.
With only 11 games left in the season, Altman wants this reoccurring inconsistency to decrease, alongside the team’s defense.
“Our last four games we scored well,” Altman said. “But we’ve got to get more consistent on the boards and we got to do a better job defensively consistently because you can’t win on the road just by exchanging baskets.”
Follow Maggie Vanoni on Twitter @maggie_vanoni
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