A proportionate response. That is what the Ducks offered against Stanford on Saturday evening, avenging a blowout loss earlier in the season by hammering the Cardinal on the hardwood, 77-66.
“Anytime you get blown out by 25, there’s always going to be payback,” said junior guard Johnathan Loyd. “I think that was in the back of everyone’s mind.”
The 11-point victory margin did not accurately portray the entirety of the game, as the Oregon mens’ basketball team ran rampant over Stanford for almost all of the second half, leading by as much as 24, before conceding a run in the waning minutes.
“It took a while for us to get going offensively but we just didn’t give up easy baskets (in the second half),” said Ducks’ coach Dana Altman. “That was difference, our defense has been good for a long time.”
The Ducks had 12 steal and six blocks, while forcing 17 turnovers. Oregon also held the Cardinal to 4-for-17 (23.5 percent) from three-point range. Stanford usually averages 34 percent from behind the arc.
Carlos Emory tallied 19 points, a game-high for both teams. Loyd and Arsalan Kazemi, typically Oregon’s lowest-scoring starters, finished second in points for the Ducks with 15 apiece.
The Ducks shot a full 20 percentage points better than they did against Cal, making over 48% of their attempts.
Oregon faired much better out of the blocks against the Cardinal than the last time the two squads faced each other when Oregon trailed by 13 and managed only 22 points in the first 20 minutes.
On Saturday, the Ducks trailed by as much as seven in the first 7:20 minutes of play. But UO strung together an 8-0 run that included two tip-ins from Tony Woods. Stanford ended its drought with a bucket to take a 16-15 lead. The teams would continue to trade the lead until Johnathan Loyd hit a wide-open three to give the Ducks a two-point advantage. At the half Oregon led 30-26. All five of the starters had scored between four and six each with the exception of Loyd who led Oregon with seven first half points. In a vast improvement from the game against Cal, the Ducks were shooting an impressive 50 percent at 13-of-26.
Dwight Powell, Stanford’s dangerous leading scorer, was in foul trouble early equating in less minutes. He picked up his fourth foul less than two minutes into the second half. Without their points pace-setter, the Cardinal fell apart.
Oregon opened the second half with a 21-10 run in the first 10 minutes of the second act, spelling a 15-point lead at 51-36.
With just under 10 to play, Carlos Emory picked off a Stanford pass and took it to the other end for a running bank-shot from an angle. Stanford answered with a Powell jumper but Emory popped right back with a tough three-point-play.
With 8:16 left, Stanford called a timeout, trailing 58-39. In the two team’s game on January 30th, it was almost an exact inverse, when Stanford led 59-38 with 8:16 remaining.
Stretching to almost the seven-minute juncture, Emory had scored nine of the Ducks’ last 11 points across a span of 2:17. At that point Oregon led by 21.
The lead would expand to as much as 24 at 71-47 with 4:24 to go but the Ducks let it slip a bit at the end, giving up a 19-6 run, allowing Stanford to improve the look of the final score.
With a big win to keep pace at the top of the Pac-12 conference with Arizona at 11-4, Altman opened up a bit about the return of Dominic Artis.
He hinted that Artis could return for Thursday’s final home game against Oregon State, but would come off the bench for Loyd.
Against Stanford, Loyd had his most complete game of the season with 15 points, a career-high nine assists and three steals. He shot 6-for-8 on the floor.
The Ducks now stand at 11-4 in conference and 22-6 overall. Stanford dropped to 7-8 and 16-12.