No. 24 Oregon holds off Alabama 63-56 (Dec 11, 2016)
EUGENE, Ore. (AP) For the first third of Oregon's season, coach Dana Altman has waited for a ''sense of urgency'' for an entire game.
Then his Ducks found it just in time, with a little luck on their side.
Tyler Dorsey scored 19 points and Dylan Ennis hit the tiebreaking 3-pointer as the shot clock expired to help No. 24 Oregon beat Alabama 63-56 on Sunday night.
''We're stuck in the mud a little bit and there are a lot of things we have to work on,'' Altman said. ''We found a way to win. I don't sense that urgency that the coaching staff has amongst the team, so we've got to do a better job.''
Dillon Brooks and Chris Boucher added 10 points each for the Ducks (8-2). They won their sixth consecutive game and 31st in a row at home.
Ennis' shot started a 9-0 run for the Ducks to finish the game after Donta Hall's fifth dunk tied it for Alabama at 56-all with 3:16 left to play. Hall led the Crimson Tide (4-4) with 14 points.
Brooks found Ennis open on the right wing after getting caught in the air on a baseline drive. Ennis and Brooks each had six of Oregon's 18 assists.
''That 3 was lucky,'' Altman said. ''It was penetration-kick and Dylan hit a really tough shot there.''
The Ducks had assists on all 10 of their first-half field goals and led 31-23 despite not scoring for the last 5 minutes before the break.
Alabama came back after being down 11 early in the second half with its strong inside game. The Crimson Tide outscored the Ducks 42-24 in the paint and finished with a 21-6 edge in second-chance points.
''They got pretty much anything they wanted that second half,'' Altman said. ''Those offensive-rebound putbacks really got them back in the game and allowed them to stay right there.''
Oregon scored 21 points off Alabama's season-high 18 turnovers. The Crimson Tide had a 33-27 edge in rebounds, with Hall and Riley Norris each grabbing seven.
Alabama had eight of its 11 offensive rebounds in the second half, though it was Oregon that grabbed the key defensive boards in the final 2 minutes
''We made simple plays at the end and closed the show,'' Dorsey said, ''but we should have boxed out more.''
Alabama's longest trip in three years nearly resulted in its first road win over a ranked team since 2004. The Crimson Tide, who finished 10th in the Southeastern Conference in coach Avery Johnson's first season, have four games to gear up for the start of SEC play on Jan. 7 against Vanderbilt.
Oregon, which has slipped 20 spots since its poll high of No. 4, will try to keep its focus on its final three nonconference games with a Pac-12 opener against No. 2 UCLA looming on Dec. 28 in Eugene.
A sixth-straight victory should stop No. 24 Oregon's slide in the rankings after the Ducks dropped another spot last week. The Ducks have three more games against unranked teams before Pac-12 play begins.
NEW KID IN THE HOUSE: Oregon introduced its new football coach, Willie Taggart, during the first media timeout to the crowd of 8,922, which responded with a standing ovation. Taggart, who was hired last week to replace Mark Helfrich, then roamed the arena posing for selfies with fans during the first half.
ROUNDING INTO SHAPE
Brooks, Oregon's preseason All-American, played a season-high 31 minutes in his seventh game off the bench since recovering from offseason foot surgery. He was particularly active on defense with four steals.
STAT OF THE NIGHT
Alabama was just 2 of 19 (10.5 percent) from 3-point range after coming in shooting 36.4 percent and hitting 8.6 per game. ''We're a much better 3-point-shooting team than that and we're a much better decision-making team than that,'' said second-year coach Avery Johnson, who has seven newcomers among his 11-man rotation.
Alabama plays its first home game of the month when it hosts South Carolina Upstate on Thursday night.
Oregon goes for its 100th victory in 6-year-old Matthew Knight Arena when it hosts Montana on Tuesday night to cap a five-game homestand. The Ducks then play UNLV at Moda Center in Portland on Saturday.