Propelled by Tajuan Porter's 23 points, the Ducks fared rather well in their toughest test so far in the young season, downing the Rams of Colorado State in the final game of the BTI Tip-Off Tournament. A physical game that was played in the half court for the most part, Oregon showed their toughness and grit with stout defensive play -- a trademark of this team thus far -- and composed offensive execution.
Porter, who was named MVP of the tournament, was stellar in both driving to the basket and knocking down open jump shots, scoring over 20 points and converting five three-pointers for a second consecutive game.
"Boy, he's going to have a great senior year," said Oregon head coach Ernie Kent of Porter, "I think that's because the guys around him are a year older, they're going be able to make more plays...obviously with the development of Garrett (Sim) and addition of Malcolm (Armstead) it makes his job a lot easier out there."
Behind Porter, the Ducks produced three other double-figure scorers in Teondre Williams and LeKendric Longmire (who scored 11 points a piece) and Joevan Catron, who came through with his best effort of the season, scoring 10 points and snagging nine rebounds.
"Duke was playing such a great game at the five spot," said Kent referring to Catron by his nickname, "There's going to be times where he's at the four, but tonight he was just really effective as a five man. He rebounded well, he scored a little bit in there, and it really payed good dividends to play with a smaller lineup."
In the first half, Oregon allowed the Rams to shoot nearly 46 percent from the field (45.8). Colorado State was led in scoring by forward Andy Ogide, who contributed 15 points in the half. However, in the second half, the Ducks ratcheted up the their defensive intensity considerably, holding Ogide scoreless and limiting the Rams to 27.3 percent shooting from the field.
"We have a lot more intensity," said Catron when asked to compare the team's defensive effort this year to last year, "We pretty much rely on the big fellas in the back so we can gamble and do things like that and make sure they hold down the lane while we're gambling...we definitely communicate a lot more."
The 3-0 Ducks will hit the road for their next game, traveling up to Portland this upcoming Saturday to face off against the Portland Pilots at the Chiles Center. Tip-off is scheduled for 7:00 pm.
BTI Tip-Off All Tournament Team
MVP - Tajuan Porter
Teondre Williams - Oregon
Andy Ogide - Colorado State
Dorian Green - Colorado State
Joe Harden - UC Davis
Shelton Carter - Winston Salem State
Ducks Defeat Colorado State, Sweep BTI Field
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