East Oregonian : E.O. (Pendleton, OR) 1888-current, January 11, 2018, Page 1B, Image 9

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Men’s College Basketball
get easier
for Ducks
Knights hang on against Pirates
Knights sweep
Pirates in two
thrilling Eastern
Oregon League
Oregon prepares
for roadtrip to face
Arizona, Arizona St
East Oregonian
The Register-Guard
Oregon will face its fi rst
two ranked opponents this
season when it leaves the
state for just the second time.
No. 11 Arizona State
and 17th-ranked Arizona
each dropped in the polls
following losses last week,
but remain the only Pac-12
men’s basketball teams in the
Top 25 when Oregon visits
Thursday and Saturday,
The Ducks (11-5) dropped
to 1-2 in conference play for
the fi rst time in four years
after losing 76-64 Friday
night at Oregon State.
“They are down. That’s
part of a long season,” Oregon
coach Dana Altman said.
“With what we have coming
up, they should be really
concerned. We go to Arizona,
which is the toughest road
trip, and then we have USC
and UCLA coming to town.
The next four games is our
toughest stretch, so we better
get ready.”
ASU (13-2) and Arizona
(12-4) are each 8-0 at home
this season as they wait
for the Ducks, whose only
true road game was a 68-61
win at Fresno State on Dec.
18. Oregon has played one
team currently in the AP
poll, but No. 9 Oklahoma
was not ranked when it beat
the Ducks 90-80 at the Phil
Knight Invitational on Nov.
The Ducks have dropped
to No. 117 in RPI rankings
with their best remaining
opportunities to rise up likely
coming this week against the
Sun Devils and Wildcats.
ASU was the last
unbeaten team in the country
at 12-0 before back-to-back
losses. The Sun Devils, who
opened conference play with
IRRIGON — Leading up
to league play, the Irrigon
Knights had a near perfect
record. They opened the
season with a seven-game win
streak and lost only one game
in 2017 — a matchup with the
Class 4A La Grande Tigers.
With the new year came a
new record
Basketball then-11-1 rap
sheet didn’t
mean much
Riverside entering play
in the Eastern
O r e g o n
L e a g u e
Irrigon had
league opener,
a 37-24 loss
to Vale, where the Knights’
defense was sound but the
offense struggled to keep up.
However, Wednesday night
back at their home court, the
Knights found their rhythm
both offensively and defen-
sively to top Riverside 33-29.
“That was a big win for us
because Riverside has been
playing pretty good,” head
coach Mike Royer said, “and
we knew they were going to
be tough.”
The Pirates (11-4 overall,
0-2 EOL) were coming off a
league opening loss of their
own, and the short 11 mile trip
from Boardman gave them a
chance to bounce back.
At fi rst, Riverside came out
with vengeance and scored 16
of its 29 point in the opening
quarter. A couple of 3-pointers
from junior Brendy Avalos
and senior Skylar Wightman
— who fi nished with a team-
high seven points — and good
looks in fi eld goal range for
junior Faith Rosen put the
Pirates up 16-15 after eight
minutes of play.
The Knights (12-2, 1-1),
however, made their adjust-
ments and it was off to the
Staff photo by E.J. Harris
Irrigon’s Ana Zacarias and Riverside’s Faith Rosen fi ght for a loose ball in the Knights’ 33-29 win against
the Pirates on Wednesday in Irrigon.
Paul (3)
goes up
for a shot
Ed Davis
(17) and
(6) during
game in
AP Photo/Mi-
chael Wyke
Pro Basketball
Paul’s season-high 37 leads Rockets over Blazers
Associated Press
HOUSTON — With James Harden
injured, the Houston Rockets are
fi guring out different ways to make
up for the offense the league’s leading
scorer normally provides.
On Wednesday night, that meant
Chris Paul took 29 shots and fi nished
with a season-high 37 points to help
the Rockets to a 121-112 win over the
Portland Trail Blazers.
Paul tied his career high for fi eld-
goal attempts in a regulation game.
He took 33 shots and scored 42 points
in a double-overtime game with New
Orleans in 2008.
His 37 points were the most by a
Rocket besides Harden since Jeremy
Lin had 38 against San Antonio on
Dec. 10, 2012.
Paul, who made 13 fi eld goals, was
asked if he realized he’d come close to
taking the most shots in his career.
“I don’t know,” he said. “It kind of
felt like it. Like goodness. I missed a
lot, too. That’s what I’m mad about.”
Portland coach Terry Stotts said
Paul was tough to stop.
“He was exceptional,” Stotts said.
“He really controlled the game, like he
can do. His shot-making was as good
as I’ve seen.”
Eric Gordon added 30 points as the
Rockets withstood a late run to win
their second straight.
The Blazers used a big run to cut
a 14-point defi cit to three with about
three minutes left. Houston responded
with a 6-2 run, capped by a 3-pointer
from Paul, to make it 111-104 about a
minute later.
Damian Lillard made a layup on the
other end, but Paul cut through three
defenders to make an off-balance layup
to push the lead to 113-106.
The Blazers couldn’t get the ball in
after a timeout, Houston got the ball
back and Clint Capela added two free
throws to secure the victory.
The Rockets won their second
straight and improved to 3-2 in fi ve
Sports shorts
Durant the second youngest to
20,000 career points in NBA history
OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — Kevin Durant
became the 44th player in NBA history to score
20,000 career points Wednesday night.
Durant reached the milestone on a pull-up
jumper from the left wing at the
1:41 mark of second quarter.
The Warriors announced his
accomplishment on the main
scoreboard and Durant received a
standing ovation, shaking his head
in acknowledgment while still very
much in game mode.
The NBA Finals MVP returned
from a three-game absence with a strained right
calf and scored 25 points in the fi rst half against
the Clippers KD’s biggest half of the season. He
came in needing exactly 25 points for 20,000.
Durant is at 29 the second-youngest player
behind LeBron James and the fi rst to reach the
20,000 mark as a member of the Warriors.
“It’s an honor. Obviously
[Bear Bryant] is one of
the greats. This is a team
award. I’m just happy
to represent the players
and coaches that had
such a phenomenal
— Scott Frost
The former UCF head coach was
named Bear Bryant Coach of the
Year on Wednesday, recognizing
his UCF Knights team that went
13-0 and defeated Auburn in the
Peach Bowl, just two years re-
moved from an 0-12 season. Frost
is now the coach at Nebraska.
Hermiston girls soccer coach
resigns after six seasons
HERMISTON — After six years at the helm
of the Hermiston girls soccer team, head coach
Danielle MacBride has resigned.
“It was a tough decision,” she
said, “but I’m getting to the point
in furthering my education that
I just can’t dedicate the time it
She currently works at
Hermiston High with HermistonOnline! as a
mentor, and is in the process of fi nishing her
Associate of Arts Transfer degree at BMCC —
which should be completed in the spring.
MacBride also said she may be required to
move within the next year, as she will transfer
into a social work program that focuses on
family services.
She joined the program after one of its most
successful seasons — a 11-3-0 record in 2011
— and leaves with a 24-35-10 overall record.
1987 — Denver’s John
Elway leads the Broncos to a
23-20 overtime victory over
the Cleveland Browns to
win the AFC Championship.
Elway caps a 15-play, 98-yard
march with a 5-yard TD pass to
Mark Jackson to tie the game
with 37 seconds remaining.
Rich Karlis kicks a 33-yard
fi eld goal in overtime to give
Denver the win.
2014 — Alex Rodriguez is
dealt the most severe punish-
ment in the history of base-
ball’s drug agreement when
arbitrator Fredric Horowitz
rules the New York Yankees
third baseman is suspended for
the entire 2014 season.
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