Ducks Win Fourth Straight
EUGENE, Ore. — De'Vion Harmon scored a season-high 21 points and Will Richardson got hot down the stretch as the Oregon men's basketball team won its fourth straight game Thursday night, 68-60 over visiting Stanford in Matthew Knight Arena.
Richardson was scoreless for the first 30 minutes Thursday, but Harmon picked him up along with post N'Faly Dante, who finished with 12 points and seven rebounds. Up 14 at one point, the Ducks saw Stanford get within five in the final minute, but Oregon (16-7 overall, 9-3 Pac-12) closed out Thursday's win with much less drama than Saturday's nail-biter at Utah.
"We won last game and we learned from that win; you can learn from wins, you can learn from losses," Harmon said. "We handled that situation a lot better. … That's how we have to finish games out if we want to win, if we want to go deep."
Richardson, who hit a three-pointer for a 57-47 lead with 4:27 to play, assisted on a bucket by Franck Kepnang for a 63-55 advantage with 1:10 left. He then had two crucial rebounds at Stanford's end in the final minute. Richardson was fouled after each and made all four free throws, helping the Ducks avenge a 72-69 loss at Stanford back on Dec. 12.
"I'm glad we got it back," Dante said. "It was a good one."
How It Happened: The Ducks were slow to find their offensive rhythm, but Dante broke through for their first bucket three minutes into the game. Jacob Young and Harmon followed with three-pointers, and Oregon led 10-4. After Stanford closed within 14-12, two buckets each by Dante and Harmon put the Ducks up 22-14, and Harmon hit a three-pointer for a 25-19 lead. Rivaldo Soares closed out the first half with a three-pointer and Oregon led 32-24 at the break.
The Ducks opened the second half on an 8-2 run, with Dante putting back a miss by Richardson and then throwing down a dunk that made it 40-26. Oregon then went cold, and Stanford scored second-chance points on consecutive possessions to cap a 12-1 run and get within 41-38. At that point Richardson was 0-of-8 shooting and Oregon had missed nine straight shots as a team, but Richardson broke both cold streaks with a bucket for a 43-38 lead with 10 minutes left.
A three-pointer by Quincy Guerrier got the lead back to double digits at 54-44, and Richardson answered a Stanford three-pointer with one of his own to make it 57-47. The Ducks led 59-47 when Stanford scored on four straight trips, the last three of those three-pointers to get within 63-48. But the Cardinal missed on their next two trips and Richardson grabbed both rebounds before sealing the game at the free-throw line.
"Although he didn't shoot the ball well, I thought he did a lot of other things pretty good," UO coach Dana Altman said.
Who Stood Out: Harmon hit his season-high 21 points on 8-of-15 shooting, overcoming four turnovers in part due to 3-of-6 three-point shooting. Richardson ended up with 12 points, all in the final 10 minutes, and added six assists with four rebounds. Guerrier had seven points with six rebounds, and Kepnang teamed with Dante to give the Ducks a combined 16 points, 11 rebounds and three blocked shots in the post.
"We've got a lot of guys that can get a bucket," Harmon said. "And Will still had 12, with six assists and no turnovers; that shows he affects the game in other areas."
What It Means: The Ducks learned from a win Saturday at Utah, handling the final minute Thursday with much more poise. They'll look to do the same after this one, after some mix-ups on defensive switches freed up the Cardinal on the late three-pointers, and after Stanford finished with a 37-30 edge in rebounds.
"We just gotta keep eliminating defensive mistakes," Altman said. "And we gotta get tougher on the boards."
Up Next: The Ducks host California on Saturday (1 p.m., Pac-12 Network).