Oregon’s undefeated start hit a speed bump lastweekend with two losses in three games at the PK80 Invitational. The Ducks willnow try to get back on track at Matthew Knight Arena – where they boast thenation’s longest current home win streak – beginning with Friday night’s gameagainst Boise State.
With the PK80 contested in nearby Portland,Oregon failed to take advantage of the large pro-Ducks crowds in losing tounranked Connecticut (71-63) and Oklahoma (90-80). Those losses bookended theDucks’ lone win at the event – an 89-79 overtime victory over DePaul. InSunday’s loss to the Sooners, Oregon had five players score in double figuresfor the fifth time in six games, but had no answer on the other end of thefloor for Oklahoma freshman guard Trae Young who exploded for 43 points on11-of-22 shooting and a 17-of-18 performance at the free throw line. “I thinkwe’re a lot better than this, and we’re going to have to work awfully hard toturn it around,” Oregon coach Dana Altman said in his post-game newsconference. “All the things we need to do are the tough things.”
TV: 9:30 p.m. ET, Pac-12 Network
ABOUT BOISE STATE (6-1): The Broncos have wontheir last two games since their lone loss to Iowa State (75-64) in therelocated Puerto Rico Tipoff in Conway, S.C., and are off to their bestseven-game start since going to 7-0 to open the 2013-14 season. The most recentvictory came Tuesday as they walloped visiting Loyola-Chicago 87-53 in theMountain West/Missouri Valley Challenge behind a barrage of 16 3-pointers and a41-23 rebounding advantage. Guard Justinian Jessup, the team’s leading scorer at14.3 points per outing, has moved into starting lineup the last two games andhas responded with a combined 42 points on 13-of-23 shooting, while guard AlexHobbs (13.4 points), forward Chris Sengfelder (11.6) and guard ChandlerHutchison (10.3) also are averaging double figures.
ABOUT OREGON (5-2): Led by point guard PaytonPritchard’s 14.7 points and 5.3 assists, all five starters own double-digitscoring averages. Paul White, a 6-foot-9 forward, is averaging 12.2 points and hasimpressed with his long-range shooting prowess in connecting on 11-of-223-point attempts so far. Freshman forward Troy Brown Jr. is averaging 11.7points and a team-best 7.1 rebounds but left the court with an unspecifiedinjury in the final minute of the Oklahoma game and his status is unclearentering Friday’s contest.
1. The teams are meeting for the third straightseason with each having won on its home court the previous two years.
2. Oregon has won 46 consecutive home games,including 23 straight games vs. nonconference visitors.
3. Jessup has connected on 9-of-15 3-point triesover his current two-game hot streak and is 24-of-48 from long range on theseason.
PREDICTION: Oregon 78, Boise State 72