EUGENE, Ore. (AP) — Oregon’s Devoe Joseph followed his worst game of the season with the best game of his career.
Joseph tortured Stanford with 3-pointers and clutch free throws en route to 30 points in a 78-67 victory in the Ducks’ Pac-12 home opener.
It was quite a turnaround for Joseph, the top scorer for Oregon (11-4, 2-1). He was coming off a four-point, 1-for-13 shooting performance Saturday against Washington.
But against the Cardinal (12-3, 2-1), Joseph made 9 of 15 from the floor, including 5 of 9 from 3-point range.
“My teammates trusted me,” said Joseph, a senior guard whose previous best was 23 points in 2009 when he was a freshman at Minnesota. His previous best as a Duck was 19.
E.J. Singler scored 13 points for the Ducks, who went 10 for 12 from the free throw line in the final 3 minutes.
Oregon is off to its best start since opening 12-4 in 2006-07 and is 9-0 this season when scoring at least 70.
“There was a little electricity tonight in the ballgame,” Oregon coach Dana Altman said. “We’ve been kind of lacking that at home. We haven’t given them much to cheer about, but we haven’t been energized at home.”
Josh Owens led the Cardinal (12-3, 2-1) with 19 points. He had 17 points on 7-of-9 shooting in the first half but picked up his third foul early in the second and sat out nearly 7 minutes.
“They played him well,” Stanford coach Johnny Dawkins said. “We were able to get the ball to him some, but by and large they gave a real good effort tonight.”
Aaron Bright also scored 14 points for the Cardinal, and John Gage added 13.
Oregon led 34-32 at halftime and fell behind only once in the second half, following a 3-pointer by Gage that made it 50-49 with 10:50 to play.
But Joseph followed with a quick 3-pointer in transition and then another on Oregon’s next possession from the corner to make it 55-50.
“I just got a lot of good looks tonight,” said Joseph, who scored 18 points in the second half. “We were going fast, and I got them in mixed up situations and I just got open.”
Forward Tyrone Nared, who missed six games with a small tear in his left MCL, returned to the lineup and had 5 points and five rebounds in 23 minutes.
“We don’t have a lot of rah-rah guys that get us going in the locker room, so when Ty came back he brought energy off the bench,” Oregon center Tony Woods said.
The Ducks’ 78 points were the most scored against Stanford all season and marked only the third time a team had gotten at least 70. Oregon also shot 48 percent from the floor against a defense that had been holding opponents to an average of 39.5 percent.
Altman said Joseph was the one who sparked Oregon’s offense.
“Devoe had a big ballgame that kind of saved us,” Altman said. “I’m really happy for Devoe. He felt really bad after that Washington game.”