Oregon again on the rise ahead of Stanford matchup

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Winners of nine of their last 10 games, the Oregon Ducks are hot at the time of the college basketball season in which they have flourished in recent years.

The Ducks start an important three-game homestand Thursday night against Stanford in Eugene, Ore.

Those who follow their conference know the Ducks (15-7, 8-3 Pac-12) tend to play their best basketball in February and March under coach Dana Altman. Oregon can pull into a tie for second place in the conference with a win over the Cardinal, the Ducks having found a rhythm after being 6-6 in mid-December.

Down 14 points early in the second half at Stanford on Dec. 12, the Ducks rallied to tie it at 69, only to lose on a Jaiden Delaire 3-pointer at the buzzer.

In their 80-77 win at Utah on Saturday, the Ducks were led by guard Will Richardson’s 25 points. Oregon is 8-0 this season when Richardson leads the team in scoring.

Still, the outcome against the Utes shouldn’t have been so close, according to Altman.

“I hope we learn from this,” the coach said, according to the Oregonian. “We didn’t finish tough and I told the guys that. I said that was just a soft finish. Very disappointed because we did some very good things in that game. We should’ve been up more at half.”

Stanford (14-9, 7-6) is looking to move up in the conference standings. The Cardinal have lost three of their past five games, including a 79-70 home defeat to No. 12 UCLA on Tuesday.

Spencer Jones led Stanford with 22 points against the Bruins. UCLA led by as many as 15 points with under six minutes to play, and the Cardinal couldn’t catch up.

“In the second half defensively we tried to make a lot of adjustments and some worked better than others, but the reality is none worked very well,” Stanford coach Jerod Haase said, according to CardinalsSportsReport.com. “And as a head coach, it is hard because when I have a team that is doing everything they can to execute the game plan, they’re giving their heart and soul, they believe in what’s going on out there and we come up short.

“It leaves me feeling a little bit empty knowing that I just want to be able to give them a plan that’s going to work.”

The Cardinal’s plan Thursday is to score a rare road win in Eugene, where Stanford has lost on its past five visits.

–Field Level Media

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