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Oregon Defeats Arkansas-Pine Bluff Despite Sloppy Play

Arsalan Kazemi leads the way with 11 points and 13 rebounds as the Ducks survive 21 turnovers to improve to 7-1 on the young season against the Golden Lions at Matthew Knight Arena, 80-59

Kazemi posted a double-double against AUPB – Oregon's first of the season.
Kazemi posted a double-double against AUPB – Oregon's first of the season.
Josh Holmberg-US PRESSWIRE

After opening the game on an 18-2 run, Oregon looked as though they would make a laughingstock of an Arkansas-Pine Bluff team that had lost their last three games by an average of 26 points, and only dressed eight players against the Ducks. Instead, the team got sloppy and at times looked like they were going to let UAPB make a game of it before pulling away to win by a less-than-comfortable 21 point margin.

"We got the big lead right out of the gate, and after that we got sloppy," Head Coach Dana Altman said.

"I think it was 18-2 we jumped out, and our guys got pretty happy with ourselves. We fundamentally weren't sound, both offensively and defensively."

Arsalan Kazemi continued his strong emergence for the Ducks, posting 11 points and 13 rebounds – Oregon's first double-double of the young season – along with five steals. Oregon out-rebounded the Golden Lions by a two-to-one margin on Saturday, one of the few things Altman was pleased with about his team's performance.

As for the rest of the team, senior Carlos Emory led all scorers with 16 points, and E.J. Singler chipped in 10 for Oregon. Emory also recorded four rebounds and two blocks as he provided bursts of energy for Altman off the bench.

"He's got some energy, defensively he's got to improve like all our guys do, Altman said. "When he attacks the body with his athleticism, he gives us a big lift....when he does that, he's a handful."

Despite the large margin of victory, the Ducks again had problems with turnovers – committing 21 on the game with over half of them unforced – and shot selection from beyond the arc against the Golden Lions, shooting only 20% from three on the afternoon. Asked about the large number of turnovers, Altman was quick and to the point:

"That's just not good basketball when you turn the ball over 21 times," Atman said.

With finals upcoming, Oregon does not play their next game until next Saturday afternoon against the Idaho State Bengals at Matthew Knight Arena. While the Ducks continue to post convincing victories and creep closer to being ranked in the polls, Altman still sees room for improvement for his young team.

"Defensively, we're still making a lot of mistakes, Altman said." We gotta shore a lot of things up – this is a very important month for us."