"I think we played really good today," head coach Dana Altman said. "I thought our energy was good, I thought our defensive intensity was better. But our ball movement was much better."
Oregon (8-1), which entered the game shooting below 30 percent from three point range, shot 9-19 from there, in large part due to improved ball movement. The Ducks finished the game with 19 assists on 32 baskets and just seven turnovers, both season bests.
"I think the biggest thing was the turnovers to assists," said senior E.J. Singler who finished the game with five assists and zero turnovers. "In some games it's really been the opposite, so that's a big one for us."
Entering the game Singler had just a 23-19 turnover-to-assist ratio. Singler finished the game with a solid overall performance, also adding seven points, nine rebounds and two blocks.
"I simplified my game. I just wanted to slow it down. I thought I was rushing a lot of things in my previous games. I just wanted to slow it down and take a deep breath and make simple plays," Singler said.
Altman described Singler and Arsalan Kazemi as "tone-setters", exulting their ability to get the team's ball movement flowing early on. Kazemi played another stellar game finishing with eight rebounds as well as three assists and two steals.
"We got the ball moving well and that was huge for us. Just getting everybody sharing the ball getting open shots," center Tony Woods said.
Oregon held the Bengals to 12-43 shooting and held them to less than 20 points in each half. While the defensive numbers are astounding, the Ducks accumulated them against the worst scoring team in the country and against a team that had zero wins over Division-1 teams.
Standing 7-foot-4, Idaho State's Jakub Kusmieruk will be the tallest player the Ducks will face during the regular. Despite the height, Oregon was dominant in the paint, scoring 40 points there and out-rebounding their opponent 47-19 including a 23-4 halftime edge. Kusmieruk finished the game with just one rebound.
"We just crashed the boards. Tonight was the night where we rebounded really well," Woods said.
Closing in on a fifty point lead, Altman elected to turn to a second unit that consisted of Johnathan Loyd, Willie Moore, Carlos Emory, Ben Carter and Austin Kuemper for the majority of the second half.
Returning from an ankle injury that kept him out of the last two games, Moore played 18 minutes and scoring eight points.
Because of their absences, the Ducks played the remaining healthy players, which included both walk-ons Coleton Baker and Nicholas Lucenti in extended minutes. Lucenti scored his first since a made free throw two years ago, scoring the final two baskets of the first half, both lay-ins.
"It's a great feeling to see them go out there and knock some shots down," Singler said.