Joe Burton could be facing Oregon for the last time tonight. - (Photo by Andy Wooldridge)
Oregon St. (13-15, 3-12) at #24 Oregon (22-6, 11-4) / Matthew Knight Arena / 8 PM PST / ESPNU / KEJO 1240 AM / KEX 1190 AM
Its the second battle of the Civil War, the most often contested rivalry in college basketball, this season, and the 339th overall. It's also the only basketball action for either team this week. And it also just happens to be the last home game of the year for Oregon, which should make for a fittingly hostile environment, despite the typically crowd quelling late night weeknight start. It will be interesting to see what the crowd will be like.
The Beavers stagger in having lost yet another hear-breaker, dropping a 60-59 Senior Day decision to surging California. It was Oregon St.'s third straight defeat, and 13th in their last 17 games. But what really frustrates Beaver Nation is that all of the losses this season have been by 10 points or less, except for the 79-66 loss to Oregon in the first Civil War battle of the year, which was also the Pac-12 campaign opener, and served as a harbinger of things to come for both squads.
Joe Burton had 15 points, 9 rebounds, 7 assists, and 5 steals against California, and Devon Collier added 13, but Roberto Nelson was limited to only 10, over 7 points below his team leading average, and Ahmad Starks made only 2 3 pointers and 2 free throws, and not the shot that would have beat the Bears at the end of the game.
The Beavers will likely need more back-court production to pull a win out of Matt Court.
Oregon averted a sweep of the state by the Bay Area teams with a balanced 77-66 win over Stanford. Johnathan Loyd had his best game of the season, with 15 points and 9 assists, and Carlos Emory led the Ducks with 19 points, while Arsalan Kazemi had 15, E.J. Singler added 12, and Tony Woods had nine points and nine rebounds for the Ducks. As a result, Oregon coach Dana Altman got his 600th career win.
Oregon gets a boost tonight, as guard Dominic Artis will return to action, after missing a sizable chunk of the conference season.
The first time around, Oregon St. started strong, taking a 34-28 lead to the locker room at half time. But the Beavers were outscored, outrebounded, and outplayed severely in the second half, as Oregon stormed back with a 15-2 run, and after a personal 7-0 run by Collier, pulled away.
Last year, the Civil Was was split, with both teams winning on the other's court. Can it happen again?