March Madness 2017: Dorsey propels OR to Sweet 16

Doug Mendoza
March 21, 2017

No. 11 Rhode Island gave OR all it could handle, but a late surge in the second half, some clutch offensive rebounds and big-time threes gave the Ducks a 75-72 win.

With the win, OR makes it back to the Sweet 16 for a second straight season.

URI closed the first half on a 14-2 run - including 7-0 over the final 1:30 with Matthews' three-point play at 52.6 - in the last 3:23.

Rhode Island guard Stanford Robinson finished with 21 points off the bench for the Rams (25-10).

Early in the second half, Rhode Island built a double-digit lead, and it seemed as though it had an answer for every punch OR could throw.

One would think OR would be ahead after winning the first-half rebounding battle 18-13, but Rhode Island took a 46-38 advantage into the half.

OR shot 48.1 percent from the field, made 7 of 16 from 3-point range and amassed a 35-28 rebounding advantage.

But Oregon responded after halftime.

The Ducks also won't get as many open looks as they have through the first two rounds.

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Smith returned for the final game of the regular season against Oregon State and played two minutes against both Arizona State and Arizona in the Pac-12 tournament.

"He was just confident in the bunch that was in", Brooks said.

That's because it's his wife, Lynn, who during her Shockers' game against Kentucky was, well, just take a look. OR also cleaned up its act on offense, only turning the ball over 4 times in the half, and only once in the final nine minutes. If Brooks is more efficient and Dorsey keeps it up, OR will be in great shape. "We overcame stuff like this all year", Bell said. "Second half we buckled down and slowly tried to keep chipping away".

"I got it, I see [Dorsey] in the corner ..."

"He got us going in the press and he hit two big free throws", OR coach Dana Altman said. "We needed some motivation and some yelling". He had a steal and an assist in six minutes during Oregon's 93-77 win over Iona in the first round on Friday. Though Rhode Island got the ball to its leading scorer, no other player moved, forcing Matthews to take a contested jumper over the 6-9 Jordan Bell. Pritchard, Dorsey and Ennis all had three going into halftime.

OR managed to rediscover itself in the second half. However, in the second round, they were put to the test. "So I thought that was really significant".

The third-seeded Ducks will face the seventh-seeded Michigan Wolverines in the Sweet Sixteen on Thursday. It will be Oregon's third appearance in five years.

"We feel very fortunate to be moving on and we know how hard MI will be on Thursday. Hopefully, we'll be ready and be able to give 'em a good game", Altman said.

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