The Oregon Ducks 68-64 victory over the Stanford Cardinal was a nice home victory to increase their conference record to 10-5, and Joe Lunardi now has the Oregon Ducks as the next four teams out in the NCAA tournament. That may not seem noteworthy, but the Ducks are continuing to move up, and this win has definitely furthered their cause after a deflating collapse against the California Golden Bears.
Devoe Joseph and Garrett Sim combined for just 18 points on 21 shots, so it was the E.J. Singler show Sunday night. And boy, did he rock it. Singler notched 20 points with two three-pointers and hit 60% of his field goals. He also added five boards and three dimes, and the only other player on the Ducks with multiple assists (3) was dime-machine Jonathan Lloyd.
If anybody can challenge E.J. Singler for MVP of this game, then it’s Olu Ashaolu who had the same +20 EFF. He received 27 minutes off of the bench (the same number of minutes as Sim, while Singler led the team with 38) and finished with a double-double of 14 points and 10 rebounds. Ashaolu connected on 5 of his 8 shots, whereas fellow bench-mate Carlos Emory made only three shots with the same number of attempts in 28 minutes. Emory did have five rebounds, but it wasn’t one of his finer performances and was mediocre at best.
Dwight Powell was the best player on a Stanford team that managed to go just 11-22 from the free throw line (Powell was 5-6). The usually inefficient sophomore power forward (11.9 PER) was selective and took just three shots, but he hit all of them for 11 points. As usual, however, Powell’s main contributions came on defense, and he was impeccable in this regard. Powell forced three steals and blocked two shots.
Star Josh Owens proved why he is among the best players in the Pac-12 conference with his performance yesterday, as he matched Singler’s point total and turned in a better shooting performance in the process. Owens also corralled five boards and had two steals and a block, which isn’t surprising given how athletic he is. Josh Owens is one of the premier defensive players in college basketball, and that was on tap Sunday in Stanford.
Unfortunately, Aaron Bright’s league-average 15.0 PER was not showcased, as he had an extremely poor game. Bright was just 1-8 (1-4 from three) and turned the ball over four times. Yes, he had the same number of turnovers as points. He did, however, dish out seven assists and added three rebounds, but that’s hardly any consolation. It was a terrible game for him, and Bright also made only one free throw on four attempts.
Chasson Randle was another Stanford player who has preformed well this season to have a poor game, and his 3-11 line will not sit well with the fans. Randle had three dimes, but that was the only bright spot to his game on Sunday.
The Ducks generated more possessions than the Cardinal, but Stanford was the better shooting team with a 49.1 eFG% compared to a 47.6% mark for the Oregon Ducks. Both teams shot 44.4% from the floor, but the Cardinal were not quite as bad as Oregon from downtown.
The difference between these two teams came on offensive rebounds and turnovers. The Ducks had six more rebounds than the Cardinal, but the more important statistic is the 10 to 6 advantage on the offensive glass for the Oregon Ducks. Both teams had 12 turnovers, but the Ducks had a TOV% of 1% less than Stanford, simply because they had more possessions.
This game was agonizingly close, and the statistics show as much. However, the Oregon Ducks were the more efficient team overall and averaged .964 points per possession, while the Cardinal generated .907 points per play. E.J. Singler’s ten consecutive points in the final six minutes cannot be understated, and he once again came up big in an important game. These kinds of road wins against tough defensive teams will only strengthen the Ducks case for a tournament bid as we head into the home stretch; this team held on and is now in a position to secure a first-round bye in the Pac-12 tournament.
MVP: E.J. Singler for coming up big again and filling out the stat sheet with another efficient, 20-point performance.
Stat to Note: In 21 games this season, Devoe Joseph reached double figures for the 20th time, despite shooting just 4-13 from the floor for 12 total points.
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