Suffocating defense, woeful free throw shooting and a lackluster effort on the boards spelled defeat for the Ducks in their 67-54 loss to Virginia Sunday afternoon at Matthew Knight Arena. Oregon head coach Dana Altman called his team's performance "disappointing", describing after the game that his squad's deficits from the charity stripe and on the glass were a major reason the Ducks suffered their third loss of the season.
"We were out rebounded by 14 [39-25], which is not a good stat," admitted Altman after the game. "Then the free throw numbers, you go 5-for-14 and miss two front ends of one-and-ones, that's really not going to give you an opportunity [to win]."
Virginia's Mike Scott was especially a thorn in the Ducks' side Sunday, notching a double-double with 17 points and 13 rebounds, appearing to take advantage of Oregon's lack of depth on the interior with Tyrone Nared nursing a knee injury.
Even without Nared, however, Oregon guard Garrett Sim stated that Nared's absence wasn't really an excuse for the poor rebounding performance.
"I think with the groups we had out there, we still had a chance to rebound just as well," said Sim, who finished with nine points and a team leading five rebounds.
Altman agreed, saying in fact that he believed his team would be a little further along than they presently are concerning their effectiveness on the boards.
"I thought we would be a better rebounding team than we were a year ago, with Tony [Woods], Olu [Ashaolu] and some of the people we've added, but we've had a hard time getting the ball."
Altman was also unhappy with his team's lack of ball movement and tempo, particularly in the second half, when Virginia's effort on the defensive end of the floor seemed to ratchet up and take its toll on Oregon's ability to find open looks at the basket.
"Our ball movement wasn't anywhere where it needs to be," said Altman. "We have to pick up the tempo. We are having trouble getting to the pace we need to be at. I didn't like our ball movement all night."
A lone bright spot for the Ducks on Sunday was the continued emergence of Minnesota transfer Devoe Joseph, who led Oregon in scoring with 16 points and is beginning to assert himself as one of the team's most reliable scorers.
"Devoe's been great," stated Altman. "He's been a big addition to our team. He had a good first half [this afternoon] and kind of kept us [in the game].
"He's doing a good job and he'll be doing a good job for us. He's a good basketball player."
Looking ahead, the Ducks have a day off Monday before playing three games in three days at Matthew Knight Arena starting Tuesday, as the Ducks host the Global Sports Hoops Showcase. Games against North Carolina Central, Prairie View A&M and Stephen F. Austin will mark the final three non-conference games for the Ducks before they open Pac-12 conference play on the road at Washington State and Washington.
Though playing back-to-back-to-back games will prove to be taxing, Sim says he and his teammates are eagerly anticipating the challenge, hoping to wright the ship somewhat before hitting the meat of their schedule.
"We have three games in three nights," said Sim. "That's tough for any team. It's a fun opportunity [though] and we are looking forward to it."
Tip-off against North Carolina Central is set for 7:00 p.m. from Matthew Knight Arena, Tuesday, December 20.
Follow Chris Courtney on Twitter at eDuckCCourtney
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