EUGENE, Ore. (AP) — Who starts for Oregon seems to be less important than how the Ducks are finishing off teams lately. Locating their killer instinct has left coach Dana Altman open to different lineup possibilities.
EUGENE, Ore. (AP) — Who starts for Oregon seems to be less important than how the Ducks are finishing off teams lately.
Locating their killer instinct has left coach Dana Altman open to different lineup possibilities.
Dillon Brooks scored a season-high 28 points and Dylan Ennis added 21 to lead No. 21 Oregon to an 84-61 victory over No. 22 Southern California on Friday night, the Trojans' first loss of the season.
Brooks, a preseason All-America, shot 9 of 10 from the field, including 4 of 4 on 3-pointers, and 6 of 6 from the free throw line two nights after his last-second 3 knocked off No. 2 UCLA.
"Dillon Brooks was unbelievable offensively tonight," Altman said.
The Ducks (13-2, 2-0 Pac-12) started the second half on a 21-3 run, featuring 14 points by Ennis, to race to their 11th consecutive win and extend the nation's second-longest home winning streak to 35 games.
Chris Boucher had 11 points for the Ducks in his second game after missing two with an ankle injury. He was Oregon's leading scorer before he was hurt, but Altman said he lacked practice time since returning to regain his starting spot.
"You've got to get used to it," Boucher said of coming off the bench, "but I do what I have to do to help the team, play defense, get blocks and get rebounds."
De'Anthony Melton led USC (14-1, 1-1) with 13 points and Jonah Matthews had 11. Elijah Stewart and Jordan McLaughlin added 10 each.
Oregon's largest lead was 31 points with 8:07 to play. The Ducks turned a season-high 17 turnovers by the Trojans into 23 points and had a 38-22 edge in points in the paint.
"You can't turn the ball over and miss easy shots and expect to beat this team, especially here at this arena," said USC coach Andy Enfield, who was denied his 100th career victory. "Give them credit. They outplayed us tonight and our players uncharacteristically made some silly turnovers."
Oregon also finished with 24 assists on 32 field goals with a season-low six turnovers.
"Those are the numbers that really stick out," said Altman, who added that his starting lineup likely will remain fluid.
"We've got six starters, seven starters and they all like to get their name called so they can do all the dancing and silly stuff they do," he said. "We'll probably go with different lineups and I don't know if we'll ever get a set five."
Brooks, with 20 points, was the difference during a sloppy first half. Each team went 0 for 9 from the field for extended stretches as both struggled to find any offensive flow.
USC's 7-minute drought ended with Melton picking Payton Pritchard's pocket at midcourt when the freshman point guard turned to look at Altman for instructions. However, the Ducks finished the half on a 10-2 run to lead 38-29.
USC missed its first road sweep of the Oregon schools since 2008 and fell short of the 16-0 start by the 1971 Trojans that finished 24-2.
Oregon scores a big home sweep by knocking off two unbeatens to re-establish itself as a Pac-12 force now that its seven-man core rotation is healthy for the first time this season.
USC's three-week stay in the Top 25 might prove perilous after the road split to open Pac-12 play. Oregon, meanwhile, should enjoy a bump after knocking off two ranked teams with a combined record of 27-0.
STAT OF THE NIGHT
Oregon finished with a 23-4 edge in points off turnovers. "That was the big advantage tonight," Altman said.
HE SAID IT
Friday's victory was Altman's 700th as a head coach at Marshall, Kansas State, Creighton and Oregon plus two junior colleges. "It makes me think of all the players I've been fortunate enough to coach," said Altman, now 167-66 in his seventh season with the Ducks and 700-333 overall. "You're talking about 32 years and that's a lot of young men who've put up with me. As a coach, you tend to remember the 333 losses more."
Spectacular first-half dunks by Jordan Bell and Chris Boucher were topped by reserve big man Kavell Bigby-Williams' consecutive blocks on the same USC possession in the second half, leading to a fast-break basket that brought the announced crowd of 10,051 to its feet.
USC, which ended a 13-game losing streak in the state of Oregon by beating Oregon State on Wednesday night, will try to end a five-game skid against Stanford on Thursday when it hosts the Cardinal.
After playing nine straight games without leaving the state, Oregon plays at Washington on Wednesday in its first true road test since its loss at No. 4 Baylor on Nov. 15.