November 24, 2015

After struggling at both ends of the floor during a winless trip to the Bay Area, Oregon believes it'll take a team effort to rally its way back to the top of the Pac-12.

Things could get worse if the 16th-ranked Ducks are swept in the Civil War for only the second time in 23 years.

As Dillon Brooks and Oregon State's Tres Tinkle look to stay hot, the Ducks will try to get back on track Saturday night with a school record-tying 23rd straight home win.

Oregon (20-6, 9-4) had sole possession of the Pac-12 lead following a season high-tying sixth consecutive victory before falling 83-63 at California on Feb. 11 and 76-72 at Stanford last Saturday.

After shooting 49.3 percent over their prior eight games, the Ducks combined for a 42.9 mark in the losses while allowing a 55.6 percentage, including 18-of-29 shooting from 3-point range.

"I'm really disappointed," coach Dana Altman said. "Our field-goal percentage in both games was really bad, our ball movement at times was not good. We just didn't play very well in either game."

Now they're a half-game behind surging Arizona in the conference race as they try to avoid their first three-game losing streak since dropping five in a row in January 2014.

Oregon, though, can take comfort in a three-game homestand against teams currently in the bottom half of the conference. The Ducks, riding the nation's fifth-longest home winning streak, will try to match the school record set in 1939 and matched in 2002.

Brooks has been a bright spot, averaging 20.4 points on 52.7 percent shooting in his last 10 games. The sophomore is tied for second in the Pac-12 with 18.2 per game in league action.

Fellow starting forward Chris Boucher was held to six points - 6.6 fewer than his previous average - last Saturday. He realizes the Ducks will need to give Brooks some help to end their slump.

"We're not playing as a team like we were before," he said. "I feel like right now we don't know what we're doing; we're playing individual. We're in first but we need to work together to fix this."

Oregon might be able to turn things around against Oregon State, which has allowed 73 points per game on 48.6 percent shooting while dropping six of seven on the road. The Beavers, however, limited the Ducks to 35.8 percent in a 70-57 home win Jan. 3.

Boucher finished with 16 points and seven rebounds off the bench, but Oregon State (15-9, 6-7) held Brooks to 13 points on 4-of-11 shooting and Oregon missed 18 of 25 from beyond the arc.

This time, the Beavers will have to win in Eugene for the first time since Jan. 29, 2012, if they hope to come away with their first sweep of the regular-season series since '09-10. They may need another big game from Tres Tinkle, son of coach Wayne Tinkle, after he had 19 points in the first meeting.

Tinkle scored 19 in a 62-50 win at Stanford on Feb. 11 and 22 in an 83-71 loss at Cal last Saturday. The guard ranks fourth among all Pac-12 freshman with 13.3 points per game in conference play.

Oregon State has lost 72 straight road games against ranked opponents. The Beavers' most recent win away from home against a Top 25 team was a 52-45 victory over then-No. 15 Washington on Jan. 5, 1985.

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