Oregon ready to keep scoring at Arizona State

NCAA Basketball

Oregon, one of the Pac-12’s best offenses, managed its best offensive showing of the season even without leading scorer Chris Duarte.

Even though the Ducks might be without Duarte again, they hope to duplicate their productive offense Thursday night when they visit Arizona State, which is returning to the floor for the first time in nearly two weeks.

Oregon (10-4, 5-3 Pac-12) averages 76.3 points, good for second in the conference behind Arizona, and its 46.6 percent from the field also is second in the league behind Stanford. The Ducks are fifth in 3-point shooting at 35.4 percent but thrived in all three areas in an 86-74 win over Washington on Saturday in their second game back from a three-game pause due to COVID-19 protocols.

The Ducks were without Duarte, who averages 17.8 points and was in a walking boot after injuring his right ankle in last Thursday’s win over Washington State. If he sits again Thursday, his return may occur in Saturday’s visit to Arizona.

Without Duarte and fourth-leading scorer Eric Williams (COVID-19 protocols), the Ducks shot 49 percent (their highest percentage in a conference game) and shot a season-best 48 percent (12 of 25) from 3-point range. Eugene Omoruyi scored 25 points and has reached double-figures in 13 of 14 games. Will Richardson added 19 and freshman Jalen Terry contributed 15 on five 3-pointers.

“We really wanted to get the ball in the ball in the middle and try to get as many inside-out threes as we could,” Ducks coach Dana Altman said. “I think that’s one of the reasons that our percentage was so high.”

Arizona State (6-8, 3-5) is returning after being on pause since a 79-75 win over Stanford on Jan. 30. The Sun Devils had two games against Utah and a game against Colorado postponed, and they are returning from their second pause despite three players testing positive for COVID-19.

The Sun Devils are led by Remy Martin, whose 18 points per game are third in the conference. He scored 23 points against Stanford to go along with six assists and four steals when the Sun Devils forced 20 turnovers.

“I feel like (Oregon’s) season kind of parallels ours in some ways. They have a little bit of a better record, but they’ve had two stoppages and they’ve missed a ton of league games as well,” Arizona State coach Bobby Hurley said on Arizona Sports’ Doug and Wolf show on Tuesday.

“This is a critical point for our season. We’re hopeful and excited that Oregon will be here Thursday night.”

–Field Level Media

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