Oregon’s Loss Announces A Wide Open PAC-12

Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

The Stanford Cardinal have issues sharing the PAC-12 Conference limelight with the Oregon Ducks.

Only two months after Stanford football team embarrassed the Ducks in the PAC-12 title game, the Cardinal (13-8, 4-4 PAC-12) ended No. 1o ranked Oregon’s undefeated conference run with a 76-52 domination Wednesday night.

Sophomore guard Chasson Randle led Stanford in scoring with 17 points, while Dwight Powell and Josh Huestis both finished with double-doubles. Carlos Emory led Oregon (18-3, 7-1 PAC-12) with 12 points.

“We’re still in the process, and trying to get better everyday. We’re still in the process of proving ourselves,” said Powell.

The Ducks loss can be partly attributed to the absence of standout guard Dominic Artis, who is out indefinitely with a foot injury. With wins over Arizona (ranked 4th in the nation at the time) and UCLA (ranked 24th at the time), Oregon still demands the respect of the “top dog” in the PAC-12. However, with the loss of Artis, there will be no more easy wins for the Ducks moving on.

Nearing the end of the second half, a unanimous “overrated” chant echoed from the Stanford student section. Oddly enough, their claims appear to be spot-on. In the first eight minutes of play, Stanford initiated an 18-2 run, which stretched the Cardinal lead to 12 points in a flash.

Oregon’s starting five were unable to capitalize at any point of the game, shooting 8-f0r-27 from the field, with 10 of the team’s turnovers to their credit.

“We just got it handed to us,” said Oregon head coach Dana Altman.

Oregon moves on to a struggling group of Cal, Colorado and Utah, none of which having winning records in conference play. The Buffaloes narrowly lost to UCLA on Jan. 12, and obliterated Stanford by a 21-point margin last week.

So, who now runs the PAC-12 conference? No one. The Bruins have struggled of late, dropping three of their last four to conference opponents, including embarrassing losses to Arizona State and USC in the same week. Despite falling to the Bruins at home last week, Arizona has assumed the front runner position nearly one month away from the conference tournament.

With Stanford’s emergence, and the struggles of top conference contenders, the Ducks won’t be the only team sharing the PAC-12 limelight.

 

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