The start of Oregon’s season has been a bumpy ride and coach Dana Altman is hoping a five-game homestand can turn things around for the Ducks.
The Ducks (4-5) hope to get moving on that task Saturday when they face Steve Alford-coached Nevada (8-2) in Eugene, Ore.
Oregon has committed 11 more turnovers than it has forced, is shooting a woeful 28.2 percent from 3-point range and has scored fewer than 60 points in four of its five setbacks.
The Ducks did give then-No. 21 UCLA a battle in Sunday’s Pac-12 road outing. But the Bruins scored 10 of the game’s final 12 points to hand Oregon a 65-56 loss.
“You’re disappointed but there are no moral victories for our program,” Altman said afterward. “The last four games we have competed. We haven’t gotten it done but guys have tried to put themselves into position.”
Will Richardson leads Oregon in scoring (14 points per game) and assists (5.2) and has strung together four straight solid performances. He is averaging 19.3 points, 7.3 assists and two steals during the stretch.
Big man N’Faly Dante is contributing 13.6 points and a team-high 6.3 rebounds per game.
The Ducks will be looking to improve to 7-1 against Nevada. In the most recent matchup, Oregon notched a 56-43 win over the Wolf Pack on Dec. 31, 2012.
Nevada’s two losses this season are to Kansas State (in overtime) and at Loyola Marymount.
The Wolf Pack notched an 85-77 victory at Pepperdine on Tuesday night. That performance came three nights after a disappointing 64-52 loss to LMU in the opener of the two-game Southern California road swing.
Alford was happy to see his team bounce back from the shaky effort.
“They’ve done a really good job through 10 games of handling adversity and that’s something they didn’t do last year,” Alford told Nevada Sports Net.
Kenan Blackshear scored a career-best 22 points against Pepperdine and Oregon State transfer Jarod Lucas added 18.
Lucas averages a team-best 17.3 points and also leads with 29 3-point baskets. Blackshear is chipping in 12.9 points and a team-high 5.6 assists per game along with 5.6 rebounds per contest.
–Field Level Media