Oregon Men Solid In Final Tune-up

Despite being out scored 33-31 in the second half, the Oregon men were solid, if not lackluster, in their 74-59 victory over Lewis and Clark in the Ducks' final exhibition game of the year.

While it won't go down as the most glamorous exhibition performance, a win is a win, as the Ducks gear up for their first regular season game of the year next Friday. Compared to Oregon's first exhibition game, the Ducks appeared a bit sluggish offensively, despite shooting 47.7 percent from the field. However, there was marked improvement on the defensive end of the floor as the Ducks held Lewis and Clark to 16-of-50 shooting (32%) for the entire game.

"We've got through two exhibition games now," said Oregon head coach Ernie Kent, "and we've done some things well. Defensively, I think we've done some things well, particularly in the second half (when) we made some adjustments."

Paced by guard Josh Kollasch, who finished with 20 points to lead all scorers, the Pioneers began the game shooting rather well from beyond the arc, as six of their eight first half field goals came from three-point land. Yet, the second half was a different story as the defensive adjustments Kent alluded to -- along with Oregon's frenetic full court press -- served to suffocate the Pioneer perimeter game. The defensive charge was led by LeKendric Longmire who -- along with Tajuan Porter -- led the Ducks in scoring with 12 points while chipping in five rebounds, two assists, and two steals.

"I went to Coach (Dunlap) maybe three or four days ago and said 'I appreciate you making basketball back fun for us'," said Longmire of Dunlap's influence on the defensive side of the ball, "He's come in and done a great job. Just to see everybody so amped up and ready to go is just great. It's a great feeling, great energy, and a great environment to be around."

Despite playing 14 and 10 minutes, respectively, Joevan Catron and sophomore center, Michael Dunigan, contributed nine points a piece, while freshman Jamil Wilson added eight in 18 minutes of action. Freshman forward E.J. Singler had another impressive outing Sunday, leading the Ducks with eight rebounds and providing tremendous hustle and toughness off the bench. As the only Duck on the team who is a candidate to redshirt this year, Singler has given Kent pause when it comes to deciding whether or not the Medford native should sit out this year.

"He's played awful well," said Kent of Singler, "He's played well in practice, he played well in this ball game. It's going to be a decision, ultimately, that's going to be made by him and his parents. I'm going to give my recommendations as to what I think...(but) he's played very well and he's gotten a little bit better each day."

Kent believes a decision on Singler's redshirt status will be made sometime next week after Kent meets with his staff and Singler's parents on Tuesday.

The Ducks begin their regular season journey Friday, November 13 at 7:00 pm against Winston Salem State in what will be the second game on the opening night of the BTI Tip-Off Tournament. Colorado State and UC Davis kick things off at 4:30 pm.


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