Ducks Ride Defense In Win Over Vikings

The Oregon men used stifling defense to trip up Portland State 68-49 Sunday afternoon at McArthur Court.

While it may have been a bit of a grind, the Oregon men got after it on the defensive end of the floor to defeat the Portland State Vikings 68-49 before 5,975 in attendance at McArthur Court on a lazy Sunday afternoon in Eugene. The Ducks held the Vikings to 29.6 percent shooting from the floor and forced 17 turnovers to earn their fifth victory of the season. Four players scored in double figures for Oregon, as senior forward Joevan Catron recorded his ninth career double-double, leading the Ducks with 15 points and 10 rebounds.

The most impressive stat of the game, however, had to be the fact that the Ducks held Portland State without a made field goal for final 10:04 of the game. When asked if he realized what the defense did, Catron appeared stunned.

"I wasn't aware of that," said Catron with a chuckle. "We just started playing the game and we picked up our defense at halftime. Coach (Altman) really got on us about our defensive assignments and in the second half, we really had a chance to pick those things up."

As Catron alluded to, the Ducks got off to another slow start, looking blasé and ineffective establishing any sort of rhythm. For Altman though, the fact his team responded at halftime to his challenge of picking up the intensity on defense was especially encouraging.

"It was kind of a slow start that we had," remarked Altman. "Defensively, we really did a good job in the halfcourt. They were there for 5 or 6 possessions and we were taking them out of what they wanted to do...we're locking in a little bit better, but we obviously still have a long ways to go."

Junior guard Garrett Sim continues to make strides this season as he had one of his best outings of the year on Sunday. His 14 points on 6-of-11 shooting from the field, including 2-of-5 from beyond the arc, was a catalyst for a big second half for the Ducks.

"I just brought a little more energy," said Sim. "Coach has been on me about not worrying about anything offensively and not worrying about my shots. I was just defensively minded and that leads to offense and it leads to plays for the team."

With the football team riding an unprecedented wave of of success this season, many wonder how that effects a rebuilding men's basketball team under a new coach. After the game, Sim was asked if the dominance of the football program has inspired his team to strive for greatness.

"I think it does," remarked Sim. "You see the excitement that these fans have and we just want to bring that to our basketball program. I'm proud of those guys, but once that (national championship) game is over, we hope we can bring that same energy and enthusiasm to the basketball program."


Oregon forward Teondre Williams missed his second consecutive game with a head injury. According to Altman, a timetable for his return is unknown...The Ducks went on a 20-5 run over a six-minute span in the second half, building their largest lead of the game (67-46) with 2:49 remaining in the game...Garrett Sim scored 14 points, the first time he'd been in double figures since the Nov. 20 game against San Jose State where he scored 11 points on 4-of-8 shooting...The Ducks allowed a season-low 49 points, the fewest their defense has yielded since holding USC to 44 points in a 54-44 victory on the road Feb. 25 last season...The Ducks scored their first basket at the 17:05 mark in the first half...Over the first five minutes of play, the two teams combined to shoot 3-of-17 (17.7 percent) on FGs...Midway through the first half the teams combined for 15 points (Oregon led 11-4).

Follow Chris Courtney on Twitter at eDuckCCourtney

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