Quick Ducks Prevail 75-70

Eugene – Short-handed particularly underneath the basket, the Oregon Ducks (4-4) used good fundamental defense and sharp shooting from junior Tajuan Porter to overcome the Kansas State Wildcats, 75-70. The Ducks literally stole the game from the Wildcats recording 14 steals.

(PHOTO) Tajuan Porter was the game leading scorer with 28. (Photo by Chris Wilson)

"I thought defensively in the first half we had three of four different presses and had the speed of the game in our favor," said Kent. "In the second half we did not press much at all and did more half court defense and I thought our quickness was really good."

The lead exchanged throughout the first half and the Ducks trailed at halftime 38-35. However in the second half a good, aggressive half court defense cut down the passing lanes and allowed Oregon to pick KSU's pocket to the tune of 12 steals to five for the game. When KSU figured out that Oregon had only Josh Crittle as the sole big man they would face, they began pounding the ball low. Kent said the team made an adjustment during a timeout during the half and that kept KSU from getting easy baskets.

It also helped that Tajuan Porter found his shooting touch and lit the Wildcats up for 28 points on 8-for-13 shooting including hitting 6-of-9 in 3-point shooting. Also helping Porter out in the scoring column was freshman Garrett Sim, who finished with 16 points and a team high six rebounds, but also displayed great calmness and poise when the KSU defenders became more physical.

"As a point guard you have to control the tempo of the game for your team," admitted Sim. "We were trying to push the ball but at the end we were trying to take it possession by possession."

LeKendric Longmire had his usual steady game of hustle and opportunism. Longmire finished with 13 points. Josh Crittle stayed out of foul trouble and was credited with three steals for the night.

Oregon finished the night shooting 47.8 percent in field goal shooting on 22-of-46 and was 45 percent beyond the 3-point line on 9-of-20 shooting. The Ducks also helped themselves by hitting 22-for-33 from the free throw line. Kansas State shot 41.5 percent in field goal shooting (27-for-65) and only 21.1 percent in threes. To add to its misery, KSU only converted 12-of-18 in free throws.

Guard Denis Clemente was the leading KSU scorer with 19 and Fred Brown added 10. Guard Jacob Pullen was the game's leading rebounder with eight boards.

"It was a great team win for us considering we did not have Joevan (Catron), Mike (Dunigan) and big Frantz (Dorsainville)," admitted Kent of the win. "We didn't find out about Mike until right before the game. We had the officials look at his brace (on his right elbow) and they just didn't think they were comfortable with it in terms of having an opportunity to injure someone else."

Kent said he told his team that they would have to play like Golden State. A reference to the Golden State Warriors known for playing small but with great speed and quickness and tonight the Ducks did just that.

The Ducks may have Dunigan back in time for next week's game in Portland against San Diego and is listed as day-to-day as is Catron. The swelling Catron's ankle is going down but Dorsainville is still considered out for 6-to-8 weeks as a cast is still on his right wrist.

The home crowd for the Sunday night game was estimated at 8,256.

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