It’s not often a crowd gets loud for a rebound, but those things tend to happen when Bol Bol is on the court. Matthew Knight Arena was buzzing when he snatched one out of the air above the rim with one hand after a missed Green Bay shot.
Bol finished with 21 points and 9 rebounds as Oregon beat Green Bay 83-72 in the final game of the 2K Empire Classic. Green Bay was in the game late, hitting 3s that kept the score close late. Much of Oregon’s offense came from the free throw line, and it finished 33-for-42, while only allowing Green Bay nine shots at the line.
Oregon led 74-70 with two minutes left after a 3 from Sandy Cohen III. But Pritchard sealed the game by getting to the foul line, as the Ducks had done all game.
Head coach Dana Altman said the Ducks needed vast improvements on both sides of the ball.
“Disappointed in our coverage at times,” Altman said. “Our toughness, defensively, we’re just not making good decisions.”
Here are three takeaways from Tuesday's game:
Streaky offense and defense
There are times when Oregon’s offense looks like it can score at will, and other times it looks confused. The first option is Bol, who has been productive. But Altman worries if he can play entire games against more physical teams.
Though the defense held Green Bay to 32 percent shooting in the first half, and led 38-29, the Ducks’ communication came and went. Oregon had more turnovers (13) than assists (11). Green Bay finished 9-of-29 from beyond the arc, hitting five 3s in the second half to stay alive.
“A lot of times they went middle, so they had a lot of options,” Abu Kigab said. “The weak side was kinda is a sticky situation cause they had both drop offs.”
Kigab was productive off bench. On two consecutive plays, Pritchard and Paul White both missed 3s, but Kigab was there on the offensive glass for both and scored on the putback.
Green Bay deserves a lot of credit for not quitting, even when trailing by as much as 17 in the second half. It stifled Oregon’s offense at times, forcing three turnovers in three minutes. ShanQuan Hemphill had the play of the night when he posterized Wooten after escaping a double team.
Bol and Wooten’s post presence
Bol draws attention not only from the opposing players, but from the crowd, even on routine plays. While Bol’s length allows him to contest almost every shot, Wooten’s athleticism can take the Duck’s defense to another level.
He routinely doesn’t try to swat the ball with one hand. He goes for the two handed grab. Wooten finished with four blocks, becoming the fourth Duck to block 100 shots, joining Jordan Bell, Chris Boucher, and Blair Rasmussen.
“Me and Bol, we try to do our best when they get inside to just block shots or at least contest it,” Wooten said. “And I think we did a good job in the first half of that.”
Bol wasn't afraid to shoot from deep either, scoring his one attempted 3-pointer.
Pritchard turns it on in second half
Though Pritchard was 1-for-4 in the first half, he stepped up late in the game when the team needed it. He hit back-to-back 3s soon after halftime, extending the lead 46-35. Pritchard finished with 18 points on 5-of-11 shooting and six rebounds.
Pritchard and Will Richardson scored the last nine points from the free throw line.
Follow August Howell on Twitter@howell_august