One game removed from the disappointing finish against UCLA, Oregon (10-6, 1-2 Pac-12) used its best 3-point shooting performance of the season to take down USC (9-8, 2-2 Pac-12) 81-60 for a much-needed win.
In the first conference win of the season, Paul White tied his career-high with 19 points, and Louis King scored the same. USC never led, and Oregon’s bench outscored the Trojans 21-8, helped by Will Richardson’s 11 points.
Here are the top takeaways from the game:
Responding to runs
The first half saw inconsistent play from Oregon, which started the game shooting 4-5 from the field. Then the offense grounded to a halt, and the Ducks didn’t score for nearly four minutes, missing six straight field goals and going 1-8.
The Trojans were able to cut into Oregon's 15 point lead by going on a 7-0 run in 90 seconds, getting it to eight by halftime. It didn’t help the Ducks that the Trojans got into the double bonus with several minutes remaining in the half.
But Oregon responded well, thanks to its second chance scoring opportunities. The Ducks scored 17 points from offensive rebounds, compared to USC’s 6. They also had one fewer turnover (18) and one more offensive rebound (8) than the Trojans.
White was effective on both sides of the court at the start of the second half. He drew a charge, then blocked a layup on the next possession. Throughout the half, his scoring in the paint helped put USC away.
“I’ve started to look for more shots than just a 3-pointer or a post-up,” White said. “It’s the in-between game, sometimes putting the ball on the floor I think has been the difference.”
King is on his way to becoming the scoring option Oregon needs him to be. With Bol Bol out and Pritchard struggling to score, King will be vital to the Ducks’ success in Pac-12 play. With his size and skill, he can get baskets in a variety of ways.
At 6-foot-9, King can play in the post, but also has the speed and agility to make tough layups and get open for threes. Aside from his scoring, he posted 8 rebounds and 6 assists, none more impressive than a long and difficult bounce pass to a cutting Victor Bailey Jr. for a layup.
"He's producing, and he's more than capable of continuing to produce," White said. "I'm happy for him. I know that our team really needs that kind of production.
USC could not withstand Oregon’s 3-point barrage. The Ducks had everything falling for them in the second half. In total they were 13-24 (54 percent) from behind the 3-point line, their best this season.
The Ducks started Pac-12 play shooting just 28 percent from 3. Against Oregon State and UCLA, Oregon shot 33 and 25 percent, respectively. Tonight, 7 different players hit triples, with three each from King, Pritchard and White.
“We practice a lot, and all of us can all hit shots,” Bailey Jr. said. “It’s just a matter of hitting the open guy and once we do that we create shots.”
Follow August Howell on Twitter @howell_august