Mon, 12 Apr 2021

Oregon visits Stanford in battle for Pac-12 positioning

Field Level Media
25 Feb 2021, 08:40 GMT+10

NCAA Tournament positioning is at stake Thursday when Oregon visits Stanford for a critical Pac-12 Conference matchup.

The host Cardinal (14-9, 10-7 Pac-12) seek another quality win for their at-large resume with three games remaining in their regular season.

Its last time out, Stanford dropped a triple-overtime decision Saturday at Washington State 85-76. Michael O'Connell missed two free throws that would have given the Cardinal a five-point lead late in regulation, setting up a Noah Williams 3-pointer to force the first overtime.

"The guys fought hard, but this one certainly stings," Stanford coach Jerod Haase said in his postgame press conference. "We need to regroup and try to stick together."

Oregon (14-5, 9-4) comes in off its own loss, a 72-58 decision Monday at USC. The Ducks trailed from wire-to-wire, digging a 15-0 hole to start from which they never recovered.

"They threw a knockout punch in the first five minutes of the game," Oregon coach Dana Altman said in his postgame press conference. "We didn't get anything going offensively. ... We were just stuck in the mud. Defensively, (we had) no activity."

The Ducks made a push in the second half, cutting a 26-point deficit down to 10, but never came any closer. Oregon went into Monday's matchup tied atop the loss column with USC and UCLA for first place in the conference, but now has work to do down the stretch.

Due to COVID-19-related hiatuses, Oregon is in the middle of an eight-game stretch spanning just 18 days. The Ducks were winners of five straight going into USC.

Oregon and Stanford met on Jan. 2 where the Ducks notched a 73-56 blowout win. Chris Duarte scored 23 points and shot 4-of-9 from 3-point range.

Duarte and Eugene Omoruyi lead the Ducks in scoring for the season, each averaging 16.8 points per game.

Oscar da Silva leads Stanford at 18.8 points per game and has been a steadying presence amid a rash of injuries. He is the only member of the Cardinal to play in all 23 games.

Daejon Davis, who missed 13 games with a leg injury, returned to the lineup in a Feb. 13 win over Utah.

In addition to a bevy of injuries, Stanford also played the first half of its home schedule more than 50 miles from campus in Santa Cruz, Calif. The Cardinal went undefeated there, which could boost their NCAA Tournament hopes as the NCAA declared all would be counted as neutral-site games, which includes a win over Pac-12 co-leader UCLA.

--Field Level Media

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