Ducks overcome first-half struggles, defeat Texas Southern 74-68
During a two-minute span in Oregon’s first half against winless Texas Southern University on Monday, the Ducks shot and missed three consecutive three-pointers, and then gave up a three-pointer to Texas Southern to give the Tigers a 24-17 lead.
That about sums up the first half for the Ducks, who led by just one point at halftime.
The second half wasn’t much better. But it was enough. Enough to take down Texas Southern, 74-68, at Matthew Knight Arena.
The Ducks shot 5-for-19 from three during the first half. Throughout the second half, they were able to post up in the paint, cause some fouls and were more selective with their threes, shooting 3-for-6.
“We took some bad shots tonight,” Altman said. “… We took three or four really questionable threes that first half that we didn’t need to take.”
Standout freshman Troy Brown Jr. had an unusually underwhelming game, but it was fellow freshman Kenny Wooten who stepped up. Wooten shot 6-of-7 for 13 points and four rebounds.
Pritchard went as far to say, “he’s the reason we won this game.” Altman said that he was “the difference.”
Despite Brown Jr’s underwhelming performance, he scored when it mattered most. At halftime, Brown had not scored a single point. He scored eight of his ten total points in the final five minutes, and five points in the final minute and a half, to help the Ducks seal the victory.
With so many freshmen playing significant minutes, Altman said that they must be consistent for the Ducks to really progress as a team.
“Consistency is something we’ve really go to search for and work on,” Altman said. “I think we could be a much more consistent team and we’ve got to strive for that, but with the freshman, they have a tendency to game on, game off — kind of go through some ups and downs.”
The Tiger’s had a 0-8 record coming into the matchup against the Ducks. However, that record may be deceiving. They played some good teams very closely, including Kansas, Gonzaga and Syracuse. The Tigers are also yet to play a home game, a setting in which they are known to thrive. They currently have the second-longest home-winning streak in the NCAA with 23 consecutive wins. They were third coming into the season, before Oregon ended its 46-game home winning streak in a loss to Boise State on Dec. 1.
“We showed them [Texas Southern’s] schedule,” Altman said. “… If you played eight road games in a row, that’d be tough to do on any team.”
Up next, the Ducks are back at Matthew Knight Arena to take on Portland State on Wednesday. But playing the Vikings won’t be a cakewalk.
“They’ve got an impressive resume,” Altman said. During the PK80 in Portland, they stayed within reach of Duke, lost to Butler by just two points and beat Stanford by 10.
Despite the less-than-satisfactory win, Pritchard says that they have to look ahead toward Portland State.
“We’ve got to move on to our next game now. We’re not going to dwell on this game, we’ve got to move on. … Portland State’s hot, so we’ve got to be ready to play.”
Follow Kylee O’Connor on Twitter @kyleethemightee