EUGENE, Ore. (AP)—Without its leading scorer and not shooting as well as usual from long range, No. 16 Oregon went inside for scoring and didn’t miss a beat.
Forwards Maarty Leunen and Joevan Catron combined for 43 points and 19 rebounds to lead the Ducks to a 93-66 victory over Sacramento State on Tuesday night.
Leunen had a season-high 23 points and added 11 rebounds for his sixth double-double of the season for Oregon (8-1). Catron scored a career-high 20 points to go with eight rebounds. Both were 8-for-10 from the field.
“(Maarty) and Joevan both were really good,” Oregon coach Ernie Kent said. “They’re both really skilled and crafty basketball players. … It seems like they’re always in the right place to rebound the ball. They play with such tremendous passion and poise on the floor.”
Tajuan Porter also scored 17 points for the Ducks, while Bryce Taylor added 15 and Franz Dorsainvil 11.
Oregon, which came into the game shooting 42 percent on 3-pointers, were 10-of-26 from behind the arc against the Hornets with Taylor going 4-for-8.
Loren Leath led Sacramento State (2-7) with 21 points and Donald Thomas added 11.
Oregon guard Malik Hairston, who averages 16.5 points, bruised his right knee in the win over Utah last Saturday. He dressed on Tuesday but was one of four Ducks held out of the game with an injury.
Also out was guard LeKendric Longmire, who has played a key role as a reserve this season. Kent said both Longmire and Hairston could have played if it had been necessary.
“They should be ready for the weekend,” said Kent, whose team travels to play Nebraska on Saturday.
Early on, it appeared Oregon missed Hairston’s scoring. The Ducks played from behind for much of the first half against a team whose only wins have been against NAIA and Division III opponents. However, trailing 29-27 with just under eight minutes to play in the first half, the Ducks went on a 19-8 run to take a 46-36 lead into halftime.
“They were hitting a lot of amazing shots,” Catron said. “We’ve got to work on that and come out strong.”
Leunen, who had 18 points in the first half, scored eight points during that closing stretch, including a layup just before the buzzer to give Oregon its 10-point halftime lead.
“I knew our numbers were a little down so I had to come out and be aggressive and look to score a little more,” Leunen said. “I felt I did a good job of that. I just got into a little rhythm.”
Randy Adams hit a jumper for Sacramento State 1:30 into the second half to cut Oregon’s lead to 50-43. It was all Ducks after that however, as Porter knocked down a 3-pointer to spark a 20-6 run for a 70-49 lead with 11:36 to play.
Oregon went up 60-30 on two free throws by Leunen with 4:07 to play.
“People play up in this environment because the atmosphere is good,” Kent said. “But eventually we just kind of wore them down with our size and our athleticism and our skill level.”
The Ducks shot 51 percent from the field overall. Oregon also posted a 46-32 advantage on the boards.