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Oregon in stride with rival Washington ahead


The start of Pacific-12 play couldn’t have gone much better for Oregon.

Nor much worse for Washington.

The Pacific Northwest rivals will meet Thursday night in Seattle at opposite ends of the conference standings.

The Ducks (10-3, 2-0 Pac-12) opened conference play at home last week by beating USC 82-74 and UCLA 64-59.

“You gotta win at home if you want to be involved (in the conference race),” Oregon coach Dana Altman said.

The Ducks trailed by five points early in the second half Saturday against UCLA before Jermaine Couisnard sparked a 12-2 run with a 3-pointer and freshman Jackson Shelstad capped it with three straight 3s.

Shelstad finished with a game-high 20 points, Couisnard added 15 and Jadrian Tracey came off the bench to score 10.

“Our defense picked up, Jackson made some shots and the game flipped,” Altman said.

The Huskies (8-5, 0-2) absorbed a pair of road losses last week, 73-69 at Colorado and 95-90 at Utah.

Washington led by seven points with 5:56 remaining against the Buffaloes and by 11 at the half against the Utes.

“We had a chance at the end,” Huskies coach Mike Hopkins said. “These are two of the top teams in the league and to put yourself in position to win is a great thing, but … we got to get over the hump. Lot of good basketball left. We got to dig a little deeper.”

Keion Brooks Jr. leads the Huskies with 20.5 points per game, which is second in the conference. Teammate Sahvir Wheeler averages 14.9 points and is tied for the Pac-12 lead with 7.0 assists per game.

Washington center Franck Kepnang has missed the past three games with a knee injury. Backup Braxton Meah picked up his fourth foul Saturday just 15 seconds into the second half and that left the Huskies without an answer for 7-footer Branden Carlson, who scored 19 of Utah’s final 24 points.

–Field Level Media

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