A historic trip to Hawaii will be an unforgettable experience, but Oregon coach Dana Altman hopes his team can stay focused against a red-hot opponent.
The 24th-ranked Ducks look to regroup from their first loss while keeping Navy from its longest winning streak in 16 years on Monday in the Pearl Harbor Invitational.
The tournament takes place on the 74th anniversary of the World War II attacks and will be held at Bloch Arena, which is located on Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam on Oahu and withstood the Japanese bombing of Pearl Harbor.
"We'll have all the service men cheering against us," Altman joked. "It'll be a hostile environment for what was supposed to be a neutral game. It's probably not going to be very neutral. It's a long trip but one that we need to make. It's going to be a good experience for our players. Pearl Harbor Day is still a very important day."
Altman's squad has plenty of business to take care of as it tries to avoid its second straight defeat away from home following Friday's 80-69 loss to UNLV in Las Vegas. Dwayne Benjamin finished with 21 points and hit 5 of 8 from 3-point range and Chris Boucher had 11 points and 11 rebounds.
Oregon, however, shot a season-low 39.3 percent from the field and was held scoreless over the final 3:31. It shot 46.6 percent while playing in the comforts of Knight Arena throughout its second 6-0 start in three seasons.
The Ducks also let the Runnin' Rebels shoot 44.8 percent while finishing with season lows of two blocks and three steals. They had allowed opponents to shoot 38.5 percent and averaged 6.8 blocks and 8.3 steals heading into the contest.
"Our defense wasn't what it needed to be at all,'' Altman said.
The Ducks survived a scare in the second half when Tyler Dorsey had his left knee buckle beneath him. Dorsey, averaging a team-high 14.4 points, returned to the game minutes later and Altman said he had been cleared by the team doctor.
They're already playing without point guard Dylan Ennis, a senior transfer from Villanova who is out until at least the end of this month with a foot injury.
In addition to the pro-Navy crowd, Oregon could have its hands full with a team that has won seven in a row since losing its first two at home to Florida and Charleston. The Midshipmen haven't won eight straight since a 13-game run in 1999-00.
"We are honored to play in this Pearl Harbor event and we will use this occasion to pay our respect to the fallen," coach Ed DeChellis told the team's official website.
Reserve forward Jace Hogan had 12 points and guards Tim Abruzzo and Shawn Anderson added 11 apiece in Wednesday's 65-59 win at Penn. Anderson leads Navy with 13.2 points per game and Hogan averages 12.0 and 5.7 boards.
The Midshipmen, 6-0 away from home, have scored 71.3 per game on 48.9 percent shooting during their run. They could give Oregon a tough time on the glass since they have a plus-10.6 rebounding margin compared to the Ducks' plus-0.9 mark.
Boucher is Oregon's top rim protector, averaging 7.7 boards and 4.0 blocks.