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Brooks' big game leads No. 15 Oregon

EUGENE — If bad things tend to happen in threes as many believe, Oregon coach Dana Altman can only hope his team has gotten letting big leads nearly slip away out of its system.

Dillon Brooks had 21 points and 10 rebounds and the 15th-ranked Ducks staved off a late rally by Fresno State for a 78-73 victory Monday night.

"That's the third time we've had a double-digit lead and we let them back in, not finishing the game," Altman said, pointing to similar wins over Baylor and Valparaiso. "I'd like to finish games stronger."

Chris Boucher and Elgin Cook added 14 points each for the Ducks (6-0), who led 70-52 with 6:35 to play before Marvelle Harris scored 13 points in a 16-2 run by the Bulldogs (5-1) that cut the deficit to four.

A driving layup by Brooks put Oregon up 74-68 with 1:20 left, and the Ducks held on by making four of six free throws in the final 45 seconds.

It was the second double-double of the season and fourth of his career for Brooks, a sophomore who had 13 points and six rebounds in the second half.

"He did make some big plays there," Altman said. "You have to have somebody make some plays and he definitely did that down the stretch."

Harris, who didn't score until the 12:04 mark of the second half, led Fresno State with 18 points, while Paul Watson added 11 and Torren Jones had 10 points and 11 rebounds.

The Bulldogs won the rebounding battle 41-32 behind Jones and Karachi Edo, who had nine rebounds and 10 points.

Freshman Tyler Dorsey, Oregon's leading scorer at 15.2 points per game, finished with 12.

Altman pointed to two areas of concern heading into Oregon's first road game: too many turnovers (17) and not enough defense after Fresno State shot 50.0 percent in the second half and scored 48 points.

"Our ball-handling's got to improve tremendously," Altman said. "Defensively the second half was not good. We give up a lot of easy baskets."

The Ducks scored the game's first 11 points, went up by as many as 14 and took a 37-25 halftime lead. The Ducks did most of the damage from inside the 3-point arc (9 of 10) and at the free throw line, outscoring the Bulldogs 13-5.

Fresno State, meanwhile, missed its first six shots from the field, shot 29.0 percent (9 of 31) and saw its top two scorers, Harris and Cezar Guerrero, held scoreless for the first 20 minutes.

The senior guards came in averaging 20.2 and 13.2 points per game, respectively.

"You like to think you're going to start most games better than we did tonight, but we fought some adversity," Fresno State coach Rodney Terry said. "We let our offense affect our defense in the first seven minutes of the game."

Taking Offense

Oregon cooled off in the second half, shooting 39.4 percent from the field to finish 24 of 55 (43.6 percent). Much to Altman's dismay, the Ducks went "hunting for shots" instead of running the offensive set he called from the sideline. "If I don't recognize what we're running, our percentages are really bad," he said. "When I had a little idea of what we're trying to accomplish, our percentages go way up, but we've got a lot of wasted possessions where I've got no idea what we're trying to do."

Missed Opportunities

After finally finding some offensive flow behind Harris late in the second half to close within four points, the Bulldogs couldn't draw any closer. Part of the reason was several late turnovers, as Fresno State finished with 18, more than its opponent for the first time in six games. ""We didn't get the execution we wanted late in the second half," Terry said. "Nevertheless, I can live with those kinds of mistakes because guys are going hard."


Fresno State: Harris, the preseason choice for Mountain West Conference player of the year, needed one point to crack the Bulldog's all-time top 10 in scoring. After going scoreless in the first half, he finished with 18 to rank 10th with 1,425, one behind Tod Bernard in ninth place, in 107 career games. ... The Bulldogs fell to 2-10 all-time against Oregon. They last time they beat the Ducks, who have won the last five meetings, was in 1995. ... Fresno State hasn't beaten a Top 25 team on the road since 2000.

Oregon: The Ducks are 40-2 against nonconference opponents since moving into Matthew Knight Arena five years ago. ... The 6-0 start is Oregon's second in the last nine years. The Ducks started 13-0 two seasons ago.

Up Next

Fresno State hosts The Master's College on Thursday.

Oregon plays at UNLV on Friday.

Fresno State's Marvelle Harris, left, and Paul Watson, right, battle Oregon's Dillon Brooks for the ball during the first half Monday in Eugene. AP PHOTO