Brown, Oregon rout Colorado State
EUGENE — Losing three of its last four games and trudging through finals week left Oregon in a foul frame of mind.
So the Ducks took it out on Colorado State with the kind of performance coach Dana Altman has been looking for through the first month of the season.
Elijah Brown scored 18 of his season-high 20 points in the second half to lead six Oregon players in double figures in a 95-65 romp over Colorado State on Friday night.
"We needed something like this," Altman said. "I thought our defensive effort was better tonight. We gave up fewer good looks.
"We're a better basketball team than what we've shown, but we've got a long way to go to be a good team."
Brown was 6 of 6 in the second half, including four 3-pointers, for the Ducks (6-3), who made 19 of their first 25 shots after halftime to open a 36-point lead. Kenny Wooten added 13 points, and Paul White and Troy Brown had 12 each.
The win snapped a two-game losing streak for Oregon.
"I thought our effort was better tonight," Altman said. "We blocked out, we were more physical and then Elijah got it going, and when he's hitting shots, that makes a big difference for us."
Elijah Brown, a graduate transfer from New Mexico, shook off a shooting slump to finish 7 of 9 and also led the Ducks with six assists and only one turnover. He also had five rebounds.
"I'd take that stat line any night," Altman said. "That's very efficient and defensively, he really did a good job. He was much more focused."
Altman credited Payton Pritchard, who had 11 points, for sparking Oregon's defense from the opening tip. Pritchard had three of the Ducks' nine steals, which helped lead to 26 points off Colorado State's 16 turnovers.
"Our defense picked up," Pritchard said. "We got easy steals and steals lead to layups. That's what jump-started our team tonight."
Prentiss Nixon, coming off a career-high 31 points against Arkansas, had 25 to lead the Rams (4-6), and Nico Carvacho added 12.
"Even though (Nixon) got 25, Payton did a nice job, made him hit some tough ones," Altman said. "I'm really pleased with the tone he set."
Troy Brown's 10 rebounds led the Ducks to a 41-27 edge on the boards. Oregon dominated inside, with a 46-16 margin on points in the paint and a 23-4 advantage in second-chance points.
The Ducks made more than half their shots for the first time in six games, finishing 37 of 70 for 53 percent. Oregon was 7 of 13 from 3-point range in the second half and 11 of 27 overall.
After coming into the game as the national leader in free-throw shooting at 81.6 percent, the Ducks were 10 of 15 at the foul line.
Colorado State: The Rams have yet to win a true road game in four tries and need to sweep their next three home games to take a winning record into their conference opener at Boise State on Dec. 27
Oregon: The Ducks are 6-3 for the fourth time in eight seasons under Altman. The Ducks, who had their 46-game home winning streak ended by Boise State last week, haven't lost three consecutive games since dropping five Pac-12 games in a row during the 2013-14 season.
STAT OF THE NIGHT
Troy Brown's 12 points and season-high 10 rebounds were the freshman's first double-double, and he also had five assists. Brown missed Oregon's last game in concussion protocol as well as eight days of practice. "He came back and played 27 minutes," Altman said. "That's a pretty good line."
Wooten had three impressive dunks for the Ducks in the second half — one after ripping an offensive rebound away from J.D. Paige, the second on a lob from Elijah Brown and the third on a two-handed putback.
HE SAID IT
With just four non-conference games remaining before the start of Pac-12 play, Altman said incremental progress was no longer an option for the Ducks. "We've got to take the same number of steps in each of these next four games that we did tonight to have a chance in the league," he said.
Oregon's new football coach, Mario Cristobal, was introduced to a standing ovation from the crowd of 7,153 during the first timeout. Cristobal was promoted from co-offensive coordinator on Friday to replace Willie Taggart, who left Oregon after one season for Florida State on Tuesday.
Colorado State: Opens a three-game homestand against Texas State on Dec. 17 before it starts Mountain West Conference play.
Oregon: Continues a stretch of five games in 13 days when it hosts Texas Southern on Monday night.