Ducks (18-5, 7-3) vs. Utah(10-12, 2-8)
Tipoff: 5 p.m. PST
TV: Pac12 Network
After unraveling in the final four minutes against Colorado Thursday night, the Ducks will need to dig deep to pull themselves out of a three-game funk, shooting under fifty percent since losing Dominic Artis (35% against Stanford, 47% against Cal, 36% against Colorado).
Coach Altman addressed that void after the Buffs game, saying “ DA spreads the floor because you got to stay on him, and with our inability to hit perimeter shots tonight....the floor has shrunk and it makes it very tough to drive to the basket, and tough to throw the ball inside, because there's a lot of people in there.”
They have a good chance tonight against an inconsistent Utah team, who just lost to OSU in an 82-64 rout. One of the challenges will be limiting Jason Washburn, who is fifth in the league in rebounding, fifth in field-goal percentage and fourth in blocks. He has also scored in double figures during 13 of the last 16 contests.
They'll look to limit their own turnovers, make simple plays and stop the Utes from scoring on second chances. But it may come down to mental toughness and confidence.
“We've just got to keep the momentum going, and right now we don't have a lot of it....but hopefully we get a win against Utah...and then we've still got a chance,” said EJ Singler Thursday night.
“We had some things rolling pretty good, and now the tide has turned. It's going to take some character to get it back,” Coach Altman said as he asked fans to rally for tonight's game.
The Duck football team will also be honored at half time tonight for their Fiesta Bowl win.
From Utah Athletics
Utah lost at Oregon State on Wednesday after capturing their first home win in league play by knocking off Colorado last Saturday, 58-55. • Against the Beavers, Brandon Taylor scored a career-high 21 points while also matching his personal best with six assists. Jarred DuBois also scored 20 points in the Ute loss. • Utah leads the Pac-12 and ranks 23rd nationally by limiting its opponents to 38.1 percent shooting from the field. • The Utes also rank second in the league by holding their opponents to only 60.9 points per game. Offensively, the Utes rank 19th nationally, tops in the Pac-12, in assisted basket percentage (63.0%).
Utah is also third in three-point field goal percentage (35.7%), second in free throw percentage (74.6%) and fourth in the league in assist to turnover ratio.
The Ducks are 14th in the country with a +7.9 rebound margin with Arsalan Kazemi leads the team with an average of 9.4 per game. Oregon also leads the league with an average of 8.8 steals per game.
Washburn Working Way Up Charts
Jason Washburn has notched double-doubles in four conference games so far. He was averaging 13.4 points and 9.1 rebounds per game while shooting 52 percent from the field prior to Wednesday night. Washburn has scored 913 points in his 112 career games.
With at least nine games remaining, including the regular season and Pac-12 Tournament, Washburn must average 9.7 points per game for the remainder of the season to become the 35th Ute to hit the 1,000-point plateau. He is currently averaging 10.6 points per game after scoring at a career-best clip of 11.4 points per contest last year.