Oregon (13-3, 1-3) at Oregon St. (9-7, 1-3) / Gill Coliseum / 5 PM / ESPNU / KEJO 1240 AM / KEX 1190 AM
Oregon and Oregon St. meet for the 340th battle of the Civil War this evening. It's the most contested rivalry in college basketball, dating back to 1903, and the Beavers hold a 184-155 edge over the Ducks.
The timing is odd, given that the game will conflict with the NFC Championship between San Francisco and Seattle. Fortunately, we have recording technology available.
The Ducks come in having lost 3 in a row, which dropped them from 10th in the nation all the way out of the top 25, and they are a last second steal and dunk in overtime away from going winless in the first 2 weeks of the Pac-12 season, quite a shock after an unbeaten preseason.
The last loss, an 82-80 setback against against visiting Stanford, came when a last minute Dominic Artis driving layup attempt didn't go down. Anthony Brown had a career high 24 points for the Cardinal, matching Oregon's Mike Moser, but the problem was the Duck defense also allowed Josh Huestis to put up 23.
Joseph Young, who leads Oregon in scoring, averaging 18.8 points per game only managed 5.
Damyean Dotson was in double figures for the 10th game in a row though, and will need to be a priority for Oregon St. to control.
The Beavers offense dried up against California in their last outing, and the Bears made a 25 point turnaround, going from 14 down a minute before halftime to eventually an 11 point second half lead, before settling for the 88-83 win.
Roberto Nelson, as is usually the case, led Oregon St. with a game high 26 points. Angus Brandt added 22, and Eric Moreland had a 14 point, game high 11 rebound double double. But the trio accounted for about 3/4 of the Beavers' points, as the bench continues to be erratic in terms of who will contribute, and when.
The key to the game is likely to be the boards. Oregon is #3 in the nation in scoring, and while most of that comes from from outside shooting, extra chances are almost surely going to turn into a lot of extra points.
That's a challenge for Oregon St., who is #242 in rebounding (bet you didn't think a Pac team could be that low on the list), though a lot of that is pre-Moreland. Once Moreland returned, the Beavers have not so coincidentally won the rebounding battle in all 4 conference games. This even with head coach Craig Robinson switching to a 3 guard system most of the time for last weekend's series against the Bay Area schools, a move he's likely to stick with against Oregon.
Oregon St. has lost the turnover battle in all 4 of their conference games, and is last in the Pac-12 in steals, so if the Beavers don't control the boards, keeping up with the Ducks could be extremely difficult.
Last year, Oregon swept the Civil War, and both wins were by double digits, 79-66 to start the Pac-12 season at Gill Coliseum, and then coming from behind for an 85-75 win in the rematch at Matthew Knight Arena. The Ducks have won the last 3 Civil War basketball battles.
With the Washington trip on a short turnaround just around the corner, a win tonight could go a long ways in turning around the conference season for either team.