Far From Pretty, Plenty Effective

Oregon didn't shoot the ball well, turned it over too many times and played downright sloppy for stretches, but somehow it was enough to beat Nebraska (6-3) 60-38 for its ninth win of the season

E.J. Singler finished with a 13 points. Photo by Rich Kolbell.


EUGENE, Ore.,- The Ducks (9-1) pushed a first half lead to 24-11 with 6:34 remaining in the half, but from there the Cornhuskers stifled the Ducks and held them without a basket for the remainder of the half.

"We probably set the game back about ten years there. Our ball movement just wasn't what I thought it'd be," head coach Dana Altman said. "We've got a long ways to go. It was not a good performance."

What was good and what has become expected to be was Arsalan Kazemi. He finished with his third double-digit rebound effort of the season, finishing with 17 rebounds, his most as a Duck.

"I'm jealous, Arsalan gets all the boards," center Tony Woods said. "I don't getting boards. It's great just being able to know that he's going to grab the ball."

Altman is cognizant however, of how Kazemi's efforts affect his teammates. While center Woods says Kazemi's glass dominance allows him to "run free and block shots", that's not what Altman wants.

"He needs to be a better rebounder," Altman said of Woods. "Our guys are leaking out, they're thinking ‘Well Arsalan will get it'. They just take off. Our team rebounding has got to get better."

Kazemi was active as ever, filling the stat sheet en route to his second double-double of the season scoring 10 points and also stealing four passes.

Woods, who was seemingly a step ahead of Nebraska's Andre Almeida all night, finished with 14 points, eight coming from dunks. Oregon utilized its superior athleticism in the post, outscoring Nebraska 40-12 in the paint.

"Tony is evolving as an offensive player. I thought he did a lot of good things. He's feeling comfortable with his jump hook and attacking the basket," Altman said.

Oregon entered the game averaging 79.4 points per game, good for twenty-sixth in the country. But, the Ducks shot just 46.3 percent from the field and failed to make a three point shot until E.J. Singler did with 7:20 remaining in the second half, scoring a season-low 60 points.

"They got the pace where they wanted it and because of it we never got into an offensive rhythm," Altman said. "They [the Ducks] weren't passing up any shots. The ball movement just is not there. Our offense is built on ball movement."

Oregon opened 0-for-11 from distance before Singler hit two in the final minutes. Singler finished with 13 points.

"…you start tightening up a little bit. The crowd was wondering if we were going to hit one. The guys were wondering if we were going to hit one," Altman said.

The Ducks weren't the only team who came out tight, the Cornhuskers became the fourth team this season to score less than 50 points versus the Ducks. Vanderbilt, Jacksonville State and Idaho State were the first three.

But Altman wasn't ready to concede much credit to the Duck's defense.

"They [Nebraska] can't break you down a lot with penetration," he said. "So, it was a team I felt like we could guard. They got some open looks, they just couldn't hit."

"We didn't do that great of a job defensively. We have a lot of room for improvement," Woods said. "We gave up some open shots, shots that we discussed that they'd take."

Woods blocked two shots, giving him 66 for his career, good for seventh all-time at Oregon.

The senior center came down awkwardly after pinning a shot against the glass midway through the second half. However, looked to be moving fine in the post-game conference.


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