The Ducks have been near the top of the Pac-12 since the year began, but despite having a productive winter break the team has yet to crack into the Top 25. Oregon came a little closer with a win over Oregon State on Sunday night.
After trailing for most of the first half, the Ducks’ basketball team opened the second half on a 13-2 run to pull ahead of their Willamette Valley foes. Oregon State would stay within striking distance but Dana Altman’s Ducks managed to hold on to the lead and finish on top 79-66, the third-straight Civil War victory by a road team.
Oregon was led in scoring by freshman Damyean Dotson, who scored 21 points on 8-of-15 shooting in his Civil War debut. Arsalan Kazemi added eight points and eight boards coming off the bench after suffering a head injury against Nevada.
Kazemi has averaged 8.5 points and 9.8 rebounds in his 12 games with the Ducks, a slight drop off from the double-double he averaged last year at Rice, but enough to lead the Ducks in rebounding by a comfortable margin.
Oregon improved to 12-2 with the win, including an unblemished 10-0 mark at home. Oregon has been threatening to break into the Top 25 since the Ducks upset then-No. 18 UNLV on Nov. 23. But a road slip up against UTEP — a triple overtime heartbreaker at that — has put some space between Oregon and the Top 25.
Dana Altman’s squad has a great chance to get back into that discussion this week if they can upset No. 4 Arizona. The Wildcats are off to a 14-0 start which includes a win against then-No. 5 Florida, but their most recent win turned a few heads for all the wrong reasons.
In their Jan. 3 win over Colorado, Arizona nearly lost at the buzzer but referees ruled the Buffaloes game-winning three wasn’t taken in time — some replays indicated that the shot should have counted, but the Wildcats would eventually win in overtime.
Arizona has three players — Mark Lyons, Solomon Hill and Nick Johnson — averaging in double figures while the Ducks have been getting even scoring themselves with five players averaging between 10 and 12 points a game.