Brooks clutch in end for Oregon
LAHAINA, Hawaii — Dillon Brooks came up short with a chance to win the game in regulation. Given another shot, he wasn't going to miss.
Brooks hit a long 3-pointer with 22 seconds left in overtime and scored 17 points, lifting No. 13 Oregon to a 69-65 victory over Tennessee at the Maui Invitational on Tuesday.
"I knew I had to redeem myself," Brooks said.
Oregon (3-2) shot poorly in a loss to Georgetown in its Maui opener and continued to struggle on Day 2. The Ducks shot 34 percent, including 5 of 17 from 3-point range, and had 21 turnovers.
But they have Brooks.
The preseason All-American was limited to eight points in 13 minutes in his return Monday night, leaving him frustrated. Ducks coach Dana Altman gave his star more playing time and Brooks delivered, hitting 4 of 9 shots and 7 of 10 free throws in 25 minutes.
Brooks has been his best when the game's on the line and came through when Oregon needed him in Maui — after failing at the end of regulation.
The junior guard missed an open shot in the lane at the buzzer, but pulled up without hesitation in overtime. Brooks drained that shot from well behind the arc, then grabbed a defensive rebound after the Vols missed before being fouled.
On the way to hitting 1 of 2 game-sealing free throws, Brooks high-fived ESPN announced Bill Walton and yelled: "Come on Bill!"
"I thought he was going to drive it," Altman said of Brooks' game-winner. "When he pulled it up, it was one of those no, no, great shot."
Tennessee (1-3), which lost to No. 16 Wisconsin in its tournament opener, struggled against the Ducks' constant defensive pressure.
The Vols had 25 turnovers and shot 37 percent, though managed to keep the Ducks within reach. Shembari Philips hit two free throws with 30 seconds left in regulation, but Tennessee could not come up with the big shot it needed in overtime.
Detrick Mostella led Tennessee with 22 points.
"I keep saying I really like our team," Tennessee coach Rick Barnes said. "We keep getting better and better each time out, certainly coming here and playing against the level of competition is proving that our guys can compete. And now we've got to learn to win games"
Oregon had a disappointing tournament opener, digging a 17-point first-half hole before a furious second-half rally fell short.
The Ducks slow-started the second game as well, missing their first six 3-pointers and 10 of 13 shots overall.
Tennessee stumbled out of the gate in its opener as well and did it again in the Day 2 early game, opening 3 for 16 to keep Oregon in it.
Both teams started to hit a few shots and were tied at 32-all by halftime.
It got worse for the Vols to start the second half.
Sped up by Oregon's pressure defense, they threw balls out of bounds and missed shots from all over the court. Tennessee had nine turnovers in the opening 8½ minutes and missed eight of its first nine shots to fall behind 45-42.
Despite Tennessee's struggles, the Ducks could not pull away. Oregon had its own issues with turnovers and missed shots, so was unable to push the lead past single digits.
"We didn't come out of the locker room with the kind of energy we needed," Barnes said. "We fought back. We kept our poise even when we'd been down."
Tennessee has a ways to go on both ends of the floor if it's going to be competitive once the SEC season starts.
Oregon won ugly and is still trying to find its groove with Brooks back. Getting a game-winning shot by their best player could be the spark the Ducks need.
The Vols played without point guard Jordan Bone, who was limited to seven minutes in the opener due to a foot injury. Power forward Admiral Schofield also was out due to unspecified reasons.
Oregon will face UConn, a 93-82 winner over Chaminade, in Wednesday's fifth-place game.
Tennessee faces Chaminade in the seventh-place game.