Ducks Roll Pilots

Portland, Ore. - The 11th ranked University of Oregon basketball team defeated the University of Portland Pilots (1-3, 0-0) of the West Coast Conference tonight at the Chiles Center by the score of 85-61. Playing without injured Bryce Taylor (separated shoulder), Oregon started to assert itself in the 2nd half with Maarty Leunen making big contributions on both ends of the court.

TaJuan Porter's third three-pointer of the game, from NBA range, gave Oregon it's largest lead of the night at 44-35, prompting Pilot coach Eric Reveno to call timeout at the 15:55 mark.

Malik Hairston came out looking very offensive minded and led the undefeated Ducks (4-0, 0-0) with 24 points. Oregon broke the game wide-open in the 2nd half, turning a halftime rebounding deficit of 22-13 into a 37-33 advantage and cruised to a 24 point blowout. Leunen contributed a double-double with 17 points and ten rebounds.

Taking control of the glass was a point of emphasis at halftime for Oregon. Leunen said that Oregon didn't play with enough "effort" in the first half which led the Ducks to have zero offensive rebounds at the break. Leunen said that Oregon knows that it is a smaller team and will give up rebounds but that the Ducks had to come out in the 2nd half and "step up the effort" on the boards.

Porter finished the game with 15 points and was 3-7 beyond the arc while Joevan Catron added eight points and eight rebounds. Portland was led by Japanese native Taishi Ito who scored 13 points.

It was a tight competitive contest in the first-half with Oregon taking a 31-29 lead into the break. The Ducks had their largest lead of 29-22 erased by a late Portland 7-0 run which tied the game at 29. Leunen hit a layup as time expired to give Oregon the halftime advantage.

Oregon freshman Kamyron Brown made his first collegiate start in place of the injured Taylor and played well with the first double-double of his collegiate career finishing with ten points and ten assists. Hairston and Porter helped to make up for the absence of Taylor (sore shoulder) scoring 10 and eight points respectively before intermission.

The Pilots controlled the glass in the first-half with freshman Luke Sikma clearing seven boards. Sikma is the son of former Seattle Sonic great Jack Sikma and is averaging over 11 rebounds per game on the young season. Another promising young post-player for the Pilots, 6'9" Robin Smeulders led Portland in scoring with six points in the first-half.

Oregon found itself in foul trouble much of the game and had nine team fouls with 14 minutes left in the 2nd half. After coach Ernie Kent protested and was told to retreat by the lead official, Oregon finally started getting some whistles, drawing loud applause from a largely pro-Oregon crowd. In fact, at one point, Portland was whistled for six consecutive team fouls evening things up a bit.

Oregon relied heavily on its bench during the game due to the constant foul trouble and got positive contributions from Franz Dorsainvil, Mitch Platt, LeKendric Longmire, and Churchill Odia.

The Ducks had previously struggled in recent years at the Chiles Center having lost two of the three previous games in Portland before tonight.

Oregon plays next at St. Mary's of the WCC conference on November 20th.

Official Box Score

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