Oregon played a little differently than they are used to playing against Nebraska, Saturday afternoon. The fast paced Ducks played down to Nebraska’s pace but came out on top 60-38. "Defensively we did some good things, but offensively it was not the tempo that we want to play at…we wanted the game in the 80’s they wanted the 60’s and that’s where they got it." Dana Altman commented about the pace of the game. The Ducks got 40 points in the paint including 10 from Arsalan Kazemi and 14 from Tony Woods. "We didn’t play as well as we would’ve liked but we got the win and that’s what important," said Woods when pressed for comment after the game. For the Huskers, Dylan Talley was the sole player in double figures in a losing effort. Ray Gallegos added 9 and Shavon Shields had 7 off the bench.
Oregon made a concerted effort in the first half to get the ball inside. They scored 20 of their 27 points from the paint and were anchored by 8 from Center Tony Woods. Oregon lead by as many as 13 in the half and went into the break with a 27-18 lead. Oregon forced 11 turnovers as their pressuring defense forced mistakes from Nebraska. The defense needed to make a strong showing as Oregon only scored 3 total points in the last 6:34 as they did not make a field goal in that span. Nebraska’s guards shouldered much of their scoring as Ray Gallegos and Dylan Talley each had 7 to pace the Huskers. The only other scorer for Nebraska was Shavon Shields off the bench who added 4.
Oregon kept up the defensive pressure in the second half, only allowing one basket in the first 5 minutes of the half. The Ducks though, continued to struggle shooting from the field until late in the game, missing their first 11 attempts from behind the three point line until EJ Singler connected on two shots from distance late. "We took some bad threes early… we haven’t shot it well this year and a lot of it is shot selection which needs to continue to improve. We’re a better shooting team than what we showed." Coach Altman said after the game about the Ducks’ shooting issues. Even with the cold start in the second the Ducks would right the ship eventually shooting at a 50% clip and committing only 5 turnovers. "We were just running through our offense…but in the second half we got into our offense and we ran a lot of our stuff, that’s the reason we cut down on the turnovers." Arsalan Kazemi added.
The Ducks look to be ranked for the first time in the Dana Altman era after defeating Nebraska which would be a huge accomplishment for the program. However, the Ducks can’t focus on their successes. Oregon has only three remaining non conference games before the gauntlet that is the Pac 12 conference. Next up Oregon goes on the road to face the UTEP Miners in what Dana Altman considers "A tough place to play." It’s nice to see Oregon cut down on the turnovers in the second half but another big concern is the team’s reliance on Arsalan Kazemi to rebound. Dana Altman feels that the team needs to be better at team rebounding moving forward.
Tony Woods and Arsalan Kazemi Postgame Interview (via Jake Tabor)
Dana Altman post game interview 12/15 (via Jake Tabor)