Tempe, Ariz-- Can the third time be the charm?
During the first two weeks of Pac-12 play, Oregon seemed somewhat satisfied with a win in the first game of the weekend, only to settle for a split. Now, the Ducks are again starring down at a conference sweep, but that's easier said than done on the road in the desert.
Thursday night, the now 12-5 Ducks, improved to 3-2 in league play with a 67-58 win in Tempe, the program's first since 2007.
Once up 11-points in the first half, Oregon fell behind by four in the 2nd half. That's when they cranked things up on defense. Oregon benefited from 21-points on 16 Arizona State turnovers. Now the question is, will the good Ducks show up Saturday in Tucson? Oregon is 3-0 in conference play when shooting 50-percent or better.
"In the Pac-12 there are so many teams that have capable scorers, a lot of even teams with a lot of guys who can score,” said Devoe Joseph. “Defense is really key, so if we win the defensive battle, the intensity will be good."
"Hey, any win right now (is big) for everybody, just the margin for error goes down,” said head coach Dana Altman. “Everybody knows each other."
"We can't be content with this win,” said Tony Woods. “We came for two and that's the goal, to leave with two."
After bruising his knee and being helped off the floor in last Sunday's home loss to Cal, Johnathan Loyd was listed as a game-time decision versus the Sun Devils, but anyone doing the "Dougie" in the pregame warm-up circle was good to go.
"Oh yeah, adrenaline, right when those lights come on I am ready to play,” said Loyd, who played 18-minutes. “Adrenaline is going to kick in, and I am ready to go right away."
The adrenaline should be flowing for Loyd and company Saturday for a nationally televised game with Arizona at 12:30 PM.