Early in the first half, it was 5-4 Idaho State and it looked like Dana Altman's team wasn't quite awake for their game against the Bengals from the Big Sky.
Then they closed the half on a 49-11 run.
"We're definitely further along than we were that first year," Altman said.
"Because of E.J. (Singler), because of Tony, (Woods), because of Carlos (Emory), because of Johnny (Loyd), this team's pushed through."
Senior Arsalan Kazemi posted another impressive game since being cleared by the NCAA last month, scoring 11 points and grabbing 8 rebounds to pace Oregon on Saturday. Freshmen Damyean Dotson and Dominic Artis chipped in 12 and 11 respectively for the Ducks, and walk-on Nic Lucenti even got involved with four points of his own, sending the students into a frenzy.
"I thought Arsalan and E.J. really set a good tone early," Altman said. "I thought they got the ball moving, making really good basketball plays, then the rest of the team kind of followed."
The 16 points scored by Idaho State in the first half and 35 total were the fewest given up by the Ducks since allowing only 14 and 44 to Utah last season In addition to the stifling defense, Oregon out-rebounded the over-matched Bengals 47-19, and out-shot them by nearly 25 percent.
"I'm not exactly sure, because they didn't lack size," Woods said as to why Oregon dominated the glass. "Tonight was a night we did really well on boards."
Aside from the obvious, another good sign for Altman was the performance of Singler – 7 points and 9 rebounds – after a slow start to the season after suffering from knee tendinitis.
After the game, Singler attributed his performance to playing more within himself, and Altman echoed that he "played his game" against Idaho State.
"I just simplified my game, I wanted to slow it down," Singler said. "I thought I was rushing a lot of things in my previous games."
"I'm just trying to make a difference when I'm on the court."
The Ducks will a full week off between games as they get ready to host Nebraska next Saturday afternoon at Matthew Knight Arena. Junior Waverly Austin missed today's game with an illness and freshman Fred Richardson was out after having wisdom teeth removed, but Altman expects both back on Monday to begin preparations for the Cornhuskers.
"I think we still need a couple more games, Singler said. "I think that Nebraska game will really test us to make that big step."
While the Cornhuskers will likely pose a bigger challenge to Oregon than Idaho State, a win may very well propel the Ducks into the polls for the first time since early in the 2008-09 season.