Morgan State (3-8) at (12) Oregon (11-0)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Sunday, December 29, 3 p.m. (ET)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Matthew Knight Arena (12,364) -- Eugene, Oregon. Television: Pac-12 Network. Home Record: MSU 2-2, Oregon 9-0. Away Record: MSU 0-4, Oregon 1-0. Neutral Record: MSU 1-2, Oregon 1-0. Conference Record: MSU 1-0, Oregon 0-0. Series Record: First-ever meeting.
GAME NOTES: The 12th-ranked Oregon Ducks return to action on Sunday afternoon, as they host the Morgan State Bears in their final non-conference tune-up.
The Bears are just two days removed from their last outing, which ended in an 86-80 loss to Cal State Northridge. The setback ended a modest two-game win streak for Morgan State, and dropped the squad to just 3-8 overall. The Bears are in the midst of an eight-game stretch in which they play on the road seven times. A visit to UC Irvine is next.
The Ducks proved just how difficult they are to beat at home last Saturday, rallying to top BYU in overtime, 100-96. The win improved Oregon to 11-0. It is the first time since 2006-07 that the Ducks have gone 11-0 to start a season, and just the fifth time in program history. Next up, Oregon opens Pac-12 Conference play at Utah on Thursday.
Sunday's meeting will be the first ever between these two programs.
Justin Black scored 24 points to lead four players in double figures for Morgan State, but it did not matter in the Bears' loss to Cal State Northridge. Morgan State connected on just 41.9 percent of its field goal attempts, compared to a 56 percent showing from the Titans.
Morgan State has had a bad habit of allowing teams to shoot at a high rate this season, with opponents hitting 46.9 percent from the floor and scoring 76.7 ppg. Black (18.7 ppg, 4.5 rpg) has done his best to keep Morgan State competitive by scoring at a high rate. After his effort against CSN, Black has now scored 20 points in back-to-back games for the second time this season. Ian Chiles (14.5 ppg, 6.1 rpg, 2.8 bpg) anchors the team down low and finished with 19 points and eight rebounds against the Matadors. Anthony Hubbard provides an additional scoring threat.
Oregon held the team lead against BYU for only 1:02, but managed to pull out a victory. The Ducks ended the second half on a 7-0 run to force overtime, and then used an 8-1 run over the last 1:21 of the extra session to escape with the victory. Jason Calliste scored a career-high 31 points to lead the way.
There are few teams in the country that have been able to keep up with the Ducks. Oregon is second in the nation in points per game (90.3), and sixth in field goal percentage (.511). Having six players averaging in double figures has allowed the Ducks to be dominant on offense. Joseph Young (19.8 ppg) is normally the player hoisting up 20 and 30-point efforts, and he did so again versus BYU with 25 points. Mike Moser (14.7 ppg, 7.5 rpg) is a solid scorer and rebounder on the interior, while Calliste (12.3 ppg), Damyean Dotson (11 ppg), Johnathan Loyd (10 ppg, 6.8 apg) and Elgin Cook (10.1 ppg) all bring something to the table as well.
The Ducks won't have to worry about overtime in this one, as their balanced and potent offensive attack will lead them to a comfortable victory.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Oregon 94, Morgan State 68
12/29 11:02:01 ET