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Loyd leads Oregon over Furd

“A lot of guys played well, but Johnny Loyd definitely was the guy who stirred the drink tonight,” Coach Dana Altman said to describe the play of starting point guard Johnathan Loyd after a convincing 77-66 win for the Oregon Ducks (22-6, 11-4 Pac-12) over the Stanford Cardinal on Saturday night. Running the risk of using a Bill Walton level hyperbole, I dare say truer words have never been spoken.

By the time Stanford realized they could no longer sag off of Loyd—as it wasn’t until late in the second half that they started double teaming him and pressing him on every advance—he was running around like the rest of the players on the floor were in slow motion. By the second half, Loyd was on a mission that resulted in 15 points and 9 assists in 32 minutes of play.

“I needed it,” he said after the game. “My teammates’ been puttin’ faith in me, they’ve been telling me they believe in me, they trust in me, they know I can do it, so, you know, I just stepped up.” For Loyd, that faith and trust helped him lead the Ducks by Stanford in convincing fashion with the differential reaching beyond twenty points in favor of the Ducks late in the game.

Altman praised Loyd defensively saying that “He sets a great tone for us defensively,” but that when Loyd hits shots in games, the Ducks have double digit wins. The benefit of Loyd’s offensive performance was that it opened up the floor for the rest of the Ducks, something that has been absent with Dominic Artis on the bench. Carlos Emory lead all scorers with 19 points, something that Altman attributed not only to Carlos’ athleticism in getting to the rim, but the fact that he was “getting under the defense,” as he recognized that Loyd was being an efficient distributor.

Arsalan Kazemi had 15 points on an efficient 6 for 8 from the floor and 3 of 4 from the line and EJ Singler had a bit of a rebound from his performance against Cal, as he scored 12 points on 4 for 10 from the field including a three-pointer in the second half.

Tony Woods not only chipped in 9 points himself, but offered a refreshing helping of offensive rebounding. He said, “Before the game, Coach…gave me the goal to get three offensive boards, so I was going into the game just more thinking about rebounds.” The end result was 6 offensive boards and a career high 9 total rebounds. Tony also contributed greatly in getting Stanford star forward Dwight Powell in foul trouble that kept him on the bench for much of the second half.

With the win in the books, Altman addressed the status of injured point guard Dominic Artis, which actually shed not only a little more light on his return but a healthy dose of optimism for fans waiting with clenched nerves and crossed fingers. “I think he’s pretty close,” Altman said. “Hopefully we get him in for the Oregon State game; then, he’s got two games and another week for the conference tournament. He’ll get time, three weeks to get blended in.” This bit of information comes as glad tidings to a fan base eager for a NCAA Tournament berth, what would be the first since 2008.

While the night belonged to Johnny Loyd, there was an underlying personal significance to this game for Coach Altman: it marked a milestone 600th career win for the coach. While he mentioned that 600 wins means he’s getting old, he waxed slightly sentimental saying that “It makes you stop and think about all the players you’re fortunate enough to coach.” But, ultimately he said “[it’s] not that big a deal.”
Game Notes:

- Oregon head coach Dana Altman recorded his 600th career victory.

Loyd had 15 points and 9 assists in 32 minutes.

- Oregon is 15-0 in games televised by the Pac-12 Networks.

- Arsalan Kazemi and Johnathan Loyd have recorded steals in 12 and 10 consecutive games, respectively.

- Oregon is 10-1 when wearing white uniforms.

- Johnathan Loyd had a carreer high 9 assists and scored a season-high 15 points.

- Tony Woods grabbed a career-high 9 rebounds.

- E.J. Singler moved into 13th place (1439) on UO’s all-time scoring list, passing Bryce Taylor (1435).

- Oregon’s 16 home wins this season are tied for the second highest total in school history.

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