Arsalan Kazemi had his best game of the season, finishing with 20 points and six rebounds to lead Oregon past UTSA 95-78 on Thursday night, leading the Ducks with exceptional plays on both sides of the ball. Only missing one shot, he went 8-9 from the field. Point guard Dominic Artis also finished the game with 16 points, once again illustrating his ability to work the lane, drive after drive.
Former long-time Duck basketball head coach Ernie Kent made an appearance at the Matthew Knight Arena last night, making his debut tonight for the Pac-12 Network. Oregon received votes in the AP poll this week, sitting just outside the top 25 after an 83-79 victory over No. 18 UNLV last Friday, only to lose to the No. 20 Cincinnati Bearcats 77-66 the following night. Last night’s meeting between the Ducks and Roadrunners was the first ever.
Oregon struggled to defend the Roadrunners early on in the game, giving up wide open lanes for lay-ups and uncontested shots. Consequently, UTSA had a lead for a majority of the opening minutes.
Depth proved to be a big factor for last night’s game, as Oregon was able to score off of turnovers and execute timely shots. UTSA’s 9-16 shooting from long-range was the reason the Roadrunners kept the score was tight until the end.
The most obvious predicament was Oregon’s turnovers. The Ducks committed 18 total turnovers, but the lack of offensive power from the RoadRunners helped the Ducks win the game. If the Ducks were matched up against the Buffaloes or the Wildcats, Oregon would have been in a lot of trouble. With the addition of Kazemi, the Ducks looked like they have a more aggressive swagger to their game. “That’s the main reason I’m here, to get to the NCAA. I know its way far away but that’s the only reason I’m here.” Kazemi will be great to watch for his short time here, and Altman has a lot in store for him.
The Ducks undoubtedly had their least impressive game defensively, but thankfully the Ducks offense was unstoppable. Kazemi and Tony Woods proved to be too big for the Roadrunners as they dominated the boards and slammed points in with ease.
Oregon scored a majority of their points inside the paint and on fast-break turnovers. The RoadRunners were unable to protect the basketball, adding up 23 turnovers of their own. There was a lot of messy play between the two teams, and aside from the combined total of 41 turnovers both teams also committed too many fouls.
UTSA’s Kannon Burrage, Jeromie Hill, and Michael Hale III seemed to be the only ones doing the work for the Roadrrunners, yet Oregon couldn’t quite figure out how to stop them. Hill led the team with 19 points and six rebounds. Burrage had another double-digit scoring night with 17 points, as well as six of the teams’ 14 assists.
Oregon will try to improve defensively in their next game against Arkansas-Pine Bluff. It will be a quick turnaround with the game tipping off at Saturday at 3:30 p.m. PST.
Turn of the game:
In the second half the RoadRunners cut their deficit to 5 points. Kazemi ignited the Pit Crew with a monstrous dunk at the 16:20 mark in the second half. The dunk started an 8-0 run for the Ducks, and the team never looked back after that. UTSA never got within 10 from that point in the game.
Dominic Artis tied a career-high with 16 points, missing only one shot the entire game.
Austin also reached double digits with ten points.
Ben Carter led the Ducks with seven rebounds.
Willie Moore missed the game with a sprained ankle he suffered in practice.
Oregon outscored the Roadrunners 62-32 in the paint.
Oregon took advantage of 23 RoadRunner turnovers and turned those mistakes into 33 points. Oregon also out-rebounded the Roadrunners, 31-19, including 12 on the offensive glass that were turned into a dozen second-chance points.
Both teams shot better than 56 percent. The RoadRunners made 30-of-53 for 56.6 percent, including 9-of-16 from behind the 3-point line, and 9-of-11 at the free-throw line.
5,204 were in attendance for last nights game.