Oregon won’t take a Thanksgiving break.
While many of their classmates leave town for a four-day weekend, the Ducks will use six days between games to reflect on a closer-than-expected 83-72 win over Green Bay Tuesday night in front of 6,569 at Matthew Knight Arena.
“We’ve got a chance to practice here over the holiday, spend a lot of time in the gym,” Oregon coach Dana Altman said. “We’ve got a lot of work to do so I hope the guys put pressure on themselves after a win to get better.”
No. 21 Oregon (4-1) took a 38-29 lead at the break and stretched the margin to 17 points before the Phoenix got back into the game and stayed there until the final minute.
“Our intensity and conditioning has to improve,” Altman said.
The Ducks blocked six shots in the first half and scared the Phoenix from taking a few others as Green Bay shot 31.6 percent from the field. Green Bay got closer to 50 percent in the second half by making 15-of-31 shots, including 14 points in the paint.
“I think they jut got to the basket too easy and we were not able to adjust that fast,” said Kenny Wooten, who had three of his team-high four blocks in the first half. “Bad job on our part.”
Green Bay (3-3) scored 43 points in the second half and may have caught up to the Ducks if it had made more than nine of 18 free throws.
“As a team we can defend a lot better,” said UO sophomore Abu Kigab, who had nine points and four rebounds. “We have a lot to work on so we need to get back into the gym and get better.”
Oregon has two games in the next 17 days beginning when Texas Southern arrives on Monday.
“We are not a very good basketball team,” Altman said. “We have a lot of work to do the next three weeks with a lot of practice time so we need to get better.”
Bol Bol led the Ducks with 21 points and nine rebounds against the Phoenix while Payton Pritchard added 18 points, six rebounds, and five assists. Paul White had 10 points while Will Richardson scored 10 off the bench.
After Wooten made a free throw to open the second half, the Ducks had three straight turnovers that Green Bay turned into points to close within 39-35. Oregon had 13 turnovers that led to 13 points for the Phoenix and limited the Ducks to 47 shots from the field, 22 less than Green Bay.
“Thirteen turnovers and only 11 assists and a lot of those turnovers were guys driving and trying to make plays for themselves,” Altman said.
Oregon took its largest lead at 56-39 on a rebound basket by Kigab, but Green Bay scored on 10 of its next 12 possessions with four three-pointers to close within 68-62 with five minutes left in the game.
The Phoenix trailed 74-70 when Sandy Cohen made a three-pointer with 1:57 left to play before Oregon followed with seven free throws to seal the win.