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College basketball notes: Oregon hitting a rut
First Published Jan 14 2014 05:43 pm • Last Updated Jan 14 2014 11:08 pm

Ducks have gone into a tailspin

Once 13-0, Oregon has struggled of late in Pac-12 play, losing its last three games. After falling to conference powers Colorado and Cal, losing to 10-5 Stanford was a bit of a head-scratcher.

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"Everybody’s frustrated; nobody likes to lose," senior Jason Calliste said to the media afterward. "We know what we have to do: just get back in the lab and work."

The last few games have seen Oregon struggle mightily on defense, allowing 100, 91, and 82 points in its respective losses. The defeats caused the Ducks to drop out of the AP Top 25 this week after once getting as high as No. 10.

Although Oregon boasts the No. 3 scoring offense in the country (88.4 ppg), it also allows a whopping 77.7 points per game from its opponents, the 304th-best mark in the nation. The Ducks also spot opponents plenty of time on the charity stripe, averaging a conference-worst 20.9 personal fouls per game.

Coach Dana Altman said he’ll be working on discipline and fundamentals to get the team prepped to play Oregon State, one of the school’s biggest rivals.

San Diego State into top 10

Two weeks after a win that put the Aztecs on the map, they continue to move up in the AP poll.

Once-beaten San Diego State (14-1, 3-0) was ranked No. 10 in the latest poll, coming off two conference wins. The Aztecs notably won a game on the road at Air Force for the first time in their last six trips to Clune Arena.

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The key has been defense, defense and defense: The Aztecs lead the nation in field goal percentage defense, allowing only 35.7 percent shooting. They are ranked No. 3 in both scoring defense (55.7 ppg) and 3-point percentage defense (26.3 percent), utilizing a hassling scheme that takes advantage of the team’s length and speed.

The highest ranking the team has ever received is No. 4 during the 2010-11 season, according to the San Diego Union-Tribune. SDSU is 22-3 when ranked in the top 10.

Freshman leading Santa Clara

The Broncos (10-9, 3-3) are a middling team in the West Coast Conference this year, but if one freshman is any indication, they could have much to look forward to.

Jared Brownridge, who hails from Illinois, has the ability to provide a scoring explosion for Santa Clara. He was the difference-maker in a 57-55 win over Saint Mary’s last week, scoring 23 points, including the game-winning 3-pointer.

Brownridge cooled in his last outing, scoring only seven in a loss to Pacific, but he’s averaging 15.4 points per game for the second-best scoring average on the team. He’s also the Broncos’ leading deep threat, hitting 45.4 percent of his 3-pointers, with a razor-sharp 54 makes.


Twitter: @kylegoon

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