The word "dominant" typically applies in games such as these, however those who were in attendance may need to search for a more appropriate term for what they witnessed, as the Ducks steamrolled Winston-Salem State in their first regular season game of the year.
Despite being held scoreless for the first three minutes of the game, Oregon eventually found their rhythm and never looked back; leading by a staggering 52 point margin at one point in the second half. Sparked by their newly installed full court pressure defense and the highlight reel exploits of sophomore wing Teondre Williams, the Ducks jumped out to a 56-15 lead at halftime, shooting a torrid 55.9 percent from the field and limiting the Rams to only five made shots in the first half.
"For the most part they did a really good job and they've put in a lot of time on the defensive end of the floor," said Oregon head coach Ernie Kent. "In order to play defense like that -- where you're talking about pressing the whole game, running in transition the whole game and having that type of energy -- you've got to be in superb condition...[those guys] have put in an enormous amount of time and I hope and pray that they get an opportunity to have some success."
As the Ducks wreaked havoc defensively, offensively, they were paced by the simply electrifying play of Teondre Williams who has appeared to have completely transformed his game and focus during the offseason. 17 of Williams' 19 points came in the first half, highlighted by two absolutely thunderous dunks that jerked the Mac Court crowd from their seats to their feet.
"He's gone through some amazing growths not only on the court, but off the court," said Oregon guard Garrett Sim, "I've known he could fly since the first day I saw him, so I'm just glad he's getting the chance to show everyone else."
Sim had an impressive outing in his own right, finishing as the Ducks' second leading scorer with 13 points on 3-of-4 shooting and 5-of-7 shooting from the free throw line. Growth in confidence was major point of emphasis for Sim during the offseason and it certainly seems as if the Beaverton native is much more at ease on the court this season.
"I'm feeling in a rhythm right now," said Sim, "I'm very comfortable with my shot right now."
The combined efforts of sophomore center Michael Dunigan (who also added five blocks) and freshman forward Jamil Wilson gave Oregon a 49-25 edge in rebounding, as both players led the Ducks with six a piece. Leading Oregon in assists were sophomore guard Malcolm Armstead and freshman forward E.J. Singler who each chipped in four.
The BTI Tip-Off Tournament continues Saturday, as the Ducks take on UC Davis at 2:00 pm in the first scheduled game of the day. Colorado State and Winston-Salem State follow the Ducks and Aggies at 4:15 pm.
Ducks Smother Winston-Salem State In Opener
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