Oregon 57, No. 18 Georgetown 50

Preview | Box Score | Recap| *Oregon

WASHINGTON (AP)—The Eastern time zone has not been kind to Oregon. They had played seven games in school history against Top 25 schools on the other side of the continent and lost them all.

On Wednesday night, it seemed the jinx was on again. The unbeaten Ducks thoroughly outplayed Georgetown from start to finish, but they keep missing wide open looks. The shots didn’t begin to fall until well into the second half, and Oregon finally pulled away in the final minutes for a 57-50 upset of the 18th-ranked Hoyas.

“We’ve been slaughtered coming back here to the East, so this is a great game to come back and win,” coach Ernie Kent said. “This was a great early-season window of opportunity that we stepped into and took advantage of.”

Aaron Brooks scored 15 points, and Bryce Taylor scored nine of his 14 points in the second half for the Ducks, who are 6-0 for the first time since the 2002-03 season. Oregon shot 28 percent in the first half and 54 percent in the second, but the bigger story was the way the visitors dominated nearly everything else: They moved the ball well, scrapped for loose balls, got more offensive rebounds and neutralized the fearsome frontcourt of Jeff Green and Roy Hibbert despite playing a much smaller lineup.

“Do you go big to match their size? We said, ‘No”’ Kent said. “Do what you do well, and stay with your game plan.”

It worked because 6-foot-9 Maarty Leunen did such a good job on the 7-2 Hibbert, and because Kent kept reminding his players at every timeout that— eventually—the shots were going to find the net.

“We’re in a great place right now,” he said he told the team. “Because our shots are going to start falling. Because we were getting any shot we wanted, the way we were moving that basketball.”

Jonathan Wallace was the lone standout for the Hoyas, scoring 17 points on 8-for-13 shooting. The rest of the team was a combined 14-for-36, and the entire team went 1-for-9 from 3-point range. The Hoyas (4-2) were a preseason Top 10 team, but they’ve now lost twice at home to unranked opponents, and their next game is at No. 11 Duke.

“Our offense was not good, and it hasn’t been,” coach John Thompson III said. “We have to figure it out. We’re tentative. We’re not sure where we’re going, what we’re doing.”

A huge concern is Green, who was considered a potential Big East player of the year at the start of the season but has had several very quiet games. He went 2-for-4 from the field with five points and three turnovers Wednesday before fouling out in the final minute, even though his teammates made a concerted effort to get him the ball during the final minutes.

Asked if Green needs to stop being such a total team player and get a little more selfish, Thompson said: “Yes.” The coach wouldn’t elaborate.

The first half was bizarre, head-shaking basketball. The Ducks were easily the better team, but they went more than nine minutes without a point. They went 2-for-14 from the 3-point arc in the first half, even though most of the shots were wide open.

The Hoyas couldn’t take advantage. They managed only a 10-0 run during Oregon’s long drought, building only a 23-17 lead that shrunk to 25-23 at halftime. Green played passively, and Hibbert missed contested shots inside.

Oregon freshman guard Tajuan Porter, who entered the game averaging 24.0 points, hit a pair of 3-pointers early in the second half to help give Oregon a 32-31 lead. He finished with 11 points. Taylor’s jumper from the left wing with 4:16 to play started a 10-3 run, and Leunen had a steal and layup that made the score 49-41.

Malik Hairston, last season’s leading scorer for the Ducks, made his season debut and scored eight points off the bench. He missed the first five games with a groin injury. Chamberlain Oguchi left in the second half with a sprained ankle.

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Top Performers

 Top Performers
B. Taylor B. Taylor
6-13,  14 Pts
3 Rebs, 1 Assists
J. Wallace J. Wallace
8-13,  17 Pts
5 Rebs, 3 Assists

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Wednesday, Nov 29