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Oregon Faces Tough Task Against a Strong Portland State Squad

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NCAA Basketball: Pac-12 Media Day Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

The Oregon Ducks (7-3) hope for a better outing Wednesday night against the Portland State Vikings (8-2) who have been impressive early in the season.

Oregon is still searching for defensive consistency, but Monday’s performance offensively raised a few red flags. Cold spells on offense allowed Texas Southern to stay in the game and almost earned their first win of the season.

Kenny Wooten became the difference maker in the second half, which propelled the Ducks over the Tigers. Wooten’s 13 points and four blocks sparked Oregon and helped to fend off Texas Southern.

Anemic is just one word to describe the Ducks performance at Matthew Knight Arena. The Ducks held a 32-31 edge at halftime after the poor shooting. While Oregon did go on a run to begin the second half, the Tigers stormed back due to shooting irregularities.

For coach Dana Altman, his team cannot afford another repeat performance at home. The Ducks are going for a third-straight win but face the Vikings who have shown they can play against big schools.

Portland State took part in the Phil Knight Invitational and played a spirited contest against the powerhouse, Duke, in their opener. The Vikings took a 99-81 loss against the Blue Devils. In the next game, a close loss came at the hands of Butler, 71-69. While the losses were close, the Vikings have shown resiliency.

Resiliency paid off as Portland State scored a big win against Stanford, 87-78, to conclude the invitational. The Vikings are on a four-game winning streak with momentum on their side for the game against the Ducks.

Last game, the Vikings made 16 consecutive field goals down the stretch to beat the Broncos of Santa Clara, 87-84. Deontae North scored 25 of his career-high-tying 30 points in the victory.

North currently leads the Vikings in scoring with about 19 points per game. Bryce Canda is close behind in second and leads the team in rebounds with nearly seven per game. Ball control will be crucial around Canda with 26 steals on the season.

Barret Peery is in his first season as head coach at Portland State and has done an impressive job thus far. Games against Linfield College and Cal remain before Big Sky play begins with a road contest against Sacramento State.

Six players on Oregon scored in double figures despite a lethargic performance. Elijah Brown must be a presence on the court. He scored zero points last game after a 20-point performance against Colorado State.

Wednesday night’s matchup begins at 7:00 p.m. with a telecast on Pac-12 Network.