HOW SWEET IT IS – Oregon’s Tyler Dorsey Drives Home a Game Winning 3 Pointer to Beat Rhode Island 75-72 Sending the Ducks to the Sweet 16

Sacramento, CA.  ( Golden 1 Center ) 


No. 3 seed Oregon withstood a fierce and physical Rhode Island team Sunday to win 75-72 on a 3 point dagger by Duck guard Tyler Dorsey.    After being down by as many as 11 points in the second half, the Ducks their long distance shooting and tough defense to make a comeback and send them to the NCAA Sweet 16 for the second consecutive year and third time in five years.


From the outset Oregon went on the attack to utilize their speed and agility at the guard position against the bigger and slower Rams.

Utilizing their athleticism and speed, the Ducks built an 8 point early lead by going on an 18-8 run at the 11:45 mark .   Dillon Brooks and Dylan Ennis led the attack with 6 points each.

The Ducks also went inside using Kavel Bigby-Willams when he drop stepped to the basket scoring on a short layup after being fouled.   Bigby-Willams completed the 3 point play to take a 21-13 lead with 10:38 to play in the half.

Tyler Dorsey also came to life connecting on 3 of his 4 first half field goal attempts to lead the Ducks with 10 points at the break.    With 7:28 remaining in the half, Dorsey was fouled on his fourth attempt – this one from long distance sending him to the line for 3 free throw attemps which he made giving Oregon a 28-20 lead.

From there however, the wheels seemed to fall off defensively for the Ducks.

Over the next six and a half minutes Rhode Island went on a 24-10 run to take a halftime lead of 46-38 led by Stanford Robinson who connected on 6 of 7 field goal attempts giving him 13 points to lead the Rams.

The Rams did most of their damage from inside the arc shooting 59% connecting on 19 of 32 shots.

For the Ducks they shot 48% hitting 13 of 27 attempts.

Contributing to the halftime deficit was the Ducks sloppy play in the back court.

Oregon gave the ball away 10 times in the opening 20 minutes – 3 each by Tyler Dorsey Payton Pritchard and Dylan Ennis.

As expected, Rhode Island was tough inside scoring 22 of their 46 points inside the paint while Oregon scored just 18.

“I think the difference in the game the first half,… our turnovers really put us in a bad hole” said Duck head coach Dana Altman after the game.

“We had 10 turnovers, and they scored 16 points off of those turnovers.  The second half we had 4 turnovers and they only got 5 points off those turnovers. So I thought that was really significant.”

Halftime;  Rhode Island 46, Oregon 38


The second half started much like the first half ended.

Rhode Island began the final 20 minutes by draining a 3 ball from Kuran Iverson pushing the score to 49-38.

The Ducks would come back to close the gap to seven points when Oregon guard Payton Pritchard drove the lane for a layup cutting the Rams lead to 49-42.

After being down by 11 points, ( 49-38 ), the Ducks seemed to catch fire at least on the defensive end pressing and defending the Rams guard play.   The Ducks defense caused 6 second half turnovers which led to 13 points.

On the opposite side, the Rams came into the game wanting to pressure the Ducks back court which they did forcing 14 turnovers which led to 21 points.

“Coach told us that they were going to get up and in on the passing lanes, pressure us, really far away from the basket” explained Duck guard Dylan Ennis. ”

I think once we started running our plays and getting through what we planned, that’s when we had success. We stopped having success when we stopped sharing the ball and stopped being strong with the ball. When we finally got used to it and played together we were successful.”

Having been a second half team all season, and after being down by as many as 11 points, Oregon showed their grit on the defensive side of the ball and closed the gap to 4 points, ( 61-57 ) when Duck guard Tyler Dorsey stole an in-bound pass by the Rams and scored on a layup with 9:53 to play in the game.

The Rams came right back and extended the lead to 7 when Jerad Terrell knocked down a 3 pointer at 9:04 to play.

Less than 30 second later Dillon Brooks hit a 3 of his own to close the gap to 64-60.

Dillon Brooks gets fouled on a 3 point shot late in the 2nd half. ( Photo by Jerry Thompson )

Dillon Brooks gets fouled on a 3 point shot late in the 2nd half. ( Photo by Jerry Thompson )

The Rams would score to extend their lead to 6, but Brooks once again took it upon himself to carry the Oregon offense.   With the shot clock winding down, Brooks was forced to shoot an off balance shot from behind the arc which came up short but was bailed out when he was fouled.

Brooks hit all three of his free throws to pull the Ducks within 3 points at 66-63 with 6:03 to play.

While Brooks scored 19, the biggest star for the Ducks was Tyler Dorsey who scored a game high 27 hitting 9 of 10 from the field including 4 of 5 from long distance.

Dorsey didn’t only score, he also contributed on the boards with 5 rebounds – 2 of those came on back to back plays that were key to the game.

“It’s just my teammates” said Dorsey when asked about his recent success.  “They’ve been finding me, and all I’ve been doing is spotting up and making the simple play and the right play, the right basketball play. Like Coach always says, keep my focus first on defense and rebounding and the offense, let it come. That’s all I’ve been doing these last couple games and my teammates have been having confidence in me and I’ve been knocking down the shots.”

With 5:32 to play and down by 3, Dorsey came up with a huge defensive rebound and led a fast break which ended with a Jordan Bell layup to close the gap to 66-65.

Then less than a minute later and after a key stop, Brooks lofted a ball from behind the arc to give Oregon its first lead of the second half 68-66.

E.C Matthews would then tie the game at 68 with a pretty drive and score.

With 3:06 to play, Jared Terrell hit a short jumper after 2 missed free throws by Dorsey to give the lead back to the Rams 70-68.   Terrell scored 15 points, second to Stanford Robinson who scored 21.

The Rams weren’t ready to give in to the Oregon comeback.   With 2:17 to play Rhode Island extended its lead to 4 ( 72-68 ) when Robinson tipped in a short miss.

On the very next possession and what would end up being one of the key plays in the game, Duck guard Dylan Ennis drove the baseline and was fouled on a shot attempt giving him 2 free throws.

Ennis converted 1 of the 2 shots cutting the Ram lead to 3, 72-69, but after the second miss Jordan Bell came up with the ball and kicked it out to Brooks who then found Dorsey in the corner who nailed a shot from long distance to tie the game at 72 with 1:45 to play.

On the ensuing play, Ram guard E.C Matthews was called for a charge giving the ball right back to the Ducks with 1:38 to play.    The Ducks couldn’t convert on the turnover allowing Rhode Island the opportunity to take the lead with 90 seconds to play.

After bringing the ball down court the Rams looked inside for an easy score but Oregon guard Payton Pritchard stepped in front of the pass to come up with a big steal.   It was the 8th of the game for the Ducks defense.

Tyler Dorsey hits the game winning 3 point shot with less than a minute to play.

Tyler Dorsey hits the game winning 3 point shot with less than a minute to play to give Oregon a 75-72 win over Rhode Island.

It was then Dorsey time.

With :38 seconds to play and at the top of the circle, Dorsey looked as though he was going to drive the lane but at the last moment drew up and shot a 3 ball from NBA distance which he made giving Oregon its winning margin of 75-72.

“It was a double drag and they switched and the big got on me and I practiced that hesitation pull-up shot a lot, so in my mind I was going there” said Dorsey about the winning shot.

The Rams did have an opportunity to tie the game, but missed on a 3 point attempt of their own giving the Ducks the win and a ticket into the Sweet 16.

FINAL SCORE;   Oregon 75, Rhode Island 72


  • With the win over Rhode Island, No. 3 seed Oregon goes to the Sweet 16 for the second consecutive year and the third time in five years.
  • Oregon gave up 46 1st half points, the 2nd most in a game this season. ( 47 to UCLA on 12/28 )
  • Junior Dillon Brooks moves into sole possession of 10th all time in scoring in Oregon history, breaking a tie with Blair Rasmussen.  Brooks had 19 points in the game giving him 1,573 in his career.
  • Oregon is now 23-1 when out rebounding the opponent. ( Only loss was to Georgetown )


Dana Altman 

Regarding the Rhode Island defense – “Well, they pressure so much that they get you spread out and it creates some driving lanes. We had a couple of really good drive and kicks and they weren’t successful and then we made bad decisions. Then we thought we had to take it and we had to shoot it and that got us in trouble. A lot of those turnovers came without the ball movement. The defense was set and we were just going to go make a play. We weren’t very successful doing it after the first couple times because of the ball movement.”

DANA ALTMAN on the Dillon Brooks technical foul:   “Well, they had warned us, Dylan got the warning and we informed everybody on the team not to say anything. Dylan got the tip in and said something and they T’ed him. We were warned and that’s on him. Unacceptable. We haven’t had a “T” all year and that’s not the right time to get one. Gave him his second foul. I told him after the game, how would you have felt in a close ball game like this if that was the difference. Control what you can control, and that was something he should have controlled. I was disappointed. I was disappointed in Dylan, first of all, for getting us in that position, definitely disappointed in Dylan for that and sat him for a while and then he had to play the rest of the half with two fouls and put us in a bad spot.”

DYLAN ENNIS on the chippy play:   “It was an atmosphere that was intense. As Coach teaches us and us being Oregon Ducks we can’t get into that. I put that on myself, being a more experienced guard I have to keep my cool with that stuff, and I know the game was intense. But if we would have lost then me and Dillon would have looked at ourselves and been really hurt. Coach tells us play as hard as you want and stay within the confines of the game. I’m sure we won’t have that problem again the rest of the year.”


No. 3 seed Oregon moves into the Sweet 16 next Thursday in Kansas City, Missouri to play No. 7 seed Michigan who upset No. 2 seed Louisville earlier on Sunday.



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