Oregon St.-Oregon Preview (Jan 14, 2017)

BY AP • January 12, 2017

EUGENE, Ore. -- Oregon will look to match its longest winning streak in 70 years when it hosts its rival on Saturday night.

The 13th-ranked Ducks take a 13-game winning streak into their contest against Oregon State at Matthew Knight Arena. After splitting its first four tilts, Oregon (15-2) has not lost a game in more than seven weeks as it built the fourth-longest active streak in the nation.

"Everyone asks why this team is so good now as opposed to the start of the year," Oregon senior point guard Dylan Ennis said. "I always told them to be patient. We are going to get into a flow and we are getting it now."

Oregon has the second-longest active NCAA home winning streak at 35 straight games as it returns home for three contests in a row. If Oregon wins all three games, it would break the school record of 15 consecutive victories.

The Ducks had six days off between games after beating Washington State 85-66 Saturday night to move into a tie for first place in the Pac-12 with Arizona at 4-0.

"Time to rest and get your body right and get your mind focused again," Oregon forward Jordan Bell said.

Oregon will have Dillon Brooks back to face the Beavers after the preseason All-American was ejected from the last game when he kicked Washington State's Josh Hawkinson in the groin midway through the first half. The Pac-12 ruled that Brooks would face no additional penalties.

"His leg was caught awkardly, that was (Brooks') description of it," Oregon coach Dana Altman told The (Eugene) Register-Guard. "That's what I saw too."

Brooks was named one of 25 finalists for the Wooden Award given to the nation's top player despite missing the first three games of the season following offseason foot surgery. The 6-foot-7 junior is averaging 13.8 points and 3.0 assists per game.

Oregon senior center Chris Boucher scored a career-high 29 points against Washington State to move into the team lead for scoring with 14.1 points per game. Boucher, who has come off the bench in each of the past six contests, ranks 10th in the nation with 2.9 blocked shots per game.

The Ducks have five players scoring in double figures, including guard Tyler Dorsey at 13.0 and Ennis at 11.6. Bell is averaging a career-high 10.4 points per game to go with a team-leading 7.9 rebounds.

This season has not been as kind to Oregon State (4-13), which snapped a 26-year NCAA Tournament drought last season. The Beavers are 0-4 in conference play.

"We have played good minutes against good teams, but we are shorthanded," Oregon State coach Wayne Tinkle said.

Oregon State has been without leading scorer Tres Tinkle for the past 11 games due to a broken wrist. The 6-8 sophomore, who averages 20.2 points and 8.3 rebounds, is hopeful to return against the Ducks.

Tinkle and guard Stephen Thompson Jr. are Nos. 1-2 on the team in scoring, but have played only one game together this season. Thompson, who averages 15.7 points and a team-best 3.5 assists, missed six games with a foot injury early in the season as Oregon State has totaled 37 games missed due to injury.

Oregon State has three straight games in the state as it tries to turn its season around beginning against the Ducks.

"They are a very dangerous team, good in transition and in the half-court," Wayne Tinkle said. "They are aggressive on defense and frustrate teams. It will be a heck of a challenge."



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