While the Oregon Ducks won by a final lopsided score of 80-59 Saturday night over Arkansas Pine-Bluff, improving to 7-1 on the season, it wasn’t a dominant performance. After getting out to an 18-2 lead early in the first half, the Ducks’ 11 first half turnovers would lead to a 37-30 halftime score. The Ducks, however, came out strong again in the second half with a 20-4 run to keep a comfortable lead.
Oregon was balanced offensively with five players in double figures, lead by Carlos Emory‘s 16 points off the bench. Transfer Arsalan Kazemi was also a standout for the Ducks, achieving his first double-double of the season with an 11 point and 13 rebound performance. After the Ducks’ big start in the first half head coach Dana Altman thought the team got complacent. In the second half the Ducks made some changes to keep a large lead.
“We just got lethargic after the big start,” Altman said. “Second half the defensive intensity was better. We got some things straightened out there and got a little lead again.”
The big story from the game was the sloppiness of Oregon. The Ducks finished with a season high 21 turnovers and Altman stated that it was his job to fix those problems.
“That’s my job,” Altman said. “When we’re making those mistakes either we find somebody who doesn’t make those mistakes or they come out. That’s just not good basketball when you’re turning the ball over 21 times. I don’t care if you’re young, inexperienced, got a lot of new guys, it’s not acceptable.”
Oregon also had numerous bad shots, and while their final shooting totals were up to par at 50 percent, they finished an abysmal 4-20 from the three-point line.
“It’s shot selection. I don’t like a lot of the threes we’re taking,” Altman said. “A lot of them were quick and not out of the offense. I want the guys to be aggressive and look for the their shot but a good three is still a good three and a lot of times we’re not taking rhythm threes.”
Oregon’s Emory scored 12 of his 16 points in the second half, including a couple dunks and alley-oops that made the crowd of 5,281 at Matthew Knight Arena go wild. Emory’s presence off the bench has the potential to be a consistent spark for the Ducks in the 2012-13 season.
“When he (Emory) attacks the basket with his athleticism he gives us a big lift,” Altman said. “He got out in transition and attacks the basket and when he does that he’s a handful. He’s big, strong and very athletic running the floor.”
While Oregon has had moments throughout the season where they’ve looked great on both sides of the ball, they must be able to keep that effort and ability throughout the whole game if they’re going to be ready for upcoming conference play.
“Nothing is every all good or all bad, but we’ve gotta starting moving to all good and cut down on some of the mistakes we’re making,” Altman said.
Oregon will take on the 1-5 Idaho State Bengals next Saturday 4 p.m. at Matthew Knight Arena.