Going into this game, I was worried. Very worried. I didn't like the huge loss Seattle U put on the Beavers this past week. I was uneasy about how poorly the Beavers had been playing in recent weeks. I didn't like how we had a winning streak going at Mac Court that dated back to the 90's. All my fears came true in the opening minutes of the game. I had seen this Beavers team before. It was the same group that turned around their program last year and even though they haven't played great this year, they can do damage and they did at Mac Court on Saturday
It would be easy to give credit to the Beavers for winning the game but let's be honest with ourselves. This Duck team was not the 2009-10 Ducks that swept the Washington schools. This was the 2008-09 team that won 8 games with Tajuan Porter trying to take over the game with miss after miss. Turnover after turnover after turnover led Oregon State to build an 8-0 lead to start the game, a lead that Oregon couldn't come back from. Every time Oregon would get close, the Beavers would hit a key bucket to extend the lead. In the last few minutes, TP reverted back into old TP, trying to take over the game and going away from what got us back in the game...team basketball. Oregon State did enough to win but we doomed ourselves, over and over again
Shooting 35% from the field is miserable and well below the Oregon season average. Turnovers were better in the 2nd half but the 1st half damage had already been done. The opening barrage did it's damage, letting Oregon State build confidence in a hostile environment. The 1-3-1 defense for Oregon State gave the Ducks fits in the first half. Even though Oregon adjusted in the second half, it just wasn't enough to come back from as Calvin Haynes and Roeland Schaftenaar did enough to win. It wasn't the amount of point they scored but more when the scored them, providing a lift when the Beavers needed it most.
Tajuan Porter shot 30% from the field for 20 points and was 3 for 11 from beyond the arc. His shooting percentage would have been a lot better had it not been for a barrage of missed shots in the final minutes of the game. This was the old Tajuan, shooting quick 3's, dribbling the ball for 20 seconds and calling for the ball at the end of the game. For all the good TP can provide, this was not one of those performances. He was the only Duck in double figures and that is not the balance Oregon has built in the last 14 games.
Malcolm Armstead had a rough game with 6 turnovers although he did contribute 4 assists and 9 points. He was almost non-existent in the second half but had some great plays down the stretch with some kisses off the glass. The chemistry TP and Armstead have developed in the last few games was like it never made it to Mac Court.
The Ernie Kent-described "glue guy" EJ Singler had 4 points and was in foul trouble most of the second half. Statistically he didn't do much but he played good defense and made good decisions for the most part.
I'm putting out an APB for the real Garrett Sim. Buddy, we know you have it in you. We've seen those double-digit games, the great passes, the huge 3 point shots. Where are you? We need you to step up and realize that potential. Sim was 0 for 5 with 1 steal and 0's across all the other stats in 20 minutes.
Michael Dunigan didn't get many looks but when he did, he was dominant. He had 8 points on 2 for 2 from the field, 4-5 from the free throw line and 8 rebounds. He also had a monster block in the first half that made Mac Court rise to it's feet.
We just couldn't execute and by the time we made adjustments, it was too late to come back. Oregon State did enough to hold onto the win and hit baskets at all the crucial times. Our shooting was bad, really bad. Turnovers were a key component and we got off to a horrible start in the first few minutes. This was a team from last year, not this year. We regressed in this game. With the Arizona schools coming up this week, we cannot afford to have performances like this. TP, I'm sorry but you can't be taking all of these shots at the end of games. Trust your teammates and work within the offense. Do what got you there.
This game was not about what Oregon State did, it was what we didn't do. We came out sloppy and couldn't take advantage of open opportunities. We had shots to be made and couldn't make them, we made bad decisions with the ball and let the Beavers get easy looks. When you do that sort of thing, you lose the game. Success is fleeting. We are still an inexperienced team and we can't look past anyone. That being said, we need a better effort in games like this because regression can happen that quickly.