Tony Woods set a new career high with a 17-point effort to lead all scorers as the Ducks beat Jacksonville State 67-45 to improve to 4-0. Woods also matched his career high with five blocks as Oregon held their opponents to fewer than 50 points for the second consecutive game.
Woods picked up his fifth block on the first possession of the second half and threw down a dunk to set a new career high in scoring later in the half. Woods also had an assist and was a force on the offensive glass with four offensive rebounds.
“It was a big game,” Woods said. “They lacked size tonight and we were able to take advantage of that.”
Dominic Artis and E.J. Singler were the only other Ducks in double figures, though Singler was held scoreless in the second half after an 11-point effort through twenty minutes.
“I just didn’t really get any looks,” Singler said. “They played good defense on me so I need to work harder to get open, but I think Tony really played good in the second half and we needed to get the ball into him.”
Despite being without 6-foot-11 center Waverly Austin, who missed the game nursing a wrist injury suffered in the Ducks win over Vanderbilt, Oregon out-rebounded the Gamecocks 37-26 leading to 18 second chance points for the Ducks. Altman said he believes Austin will be able to play when the Ducks continue Global Sports Classic play in Las Vegas later this week.
The Ducks were once again led in rebounding by Arsalan Kazemi who had a game-high eight rebounds. Kazemi has already been a force defensively for the Ducks in his first two games and added two points on an alley-oop dunk tonight.
“He’s a good player,” head coach Dana Altman said. “His instincts are really good.”
Turning Point. The Ducks started the first half on a 12-4 run and never really let Jacksonville State get within striking distance. Oregon went up 20-10 on a tip-in by Ben Carter with 7:51 remaining in the first half and led by double digits the rest of the way en route to the 22-point victory.
On the horizon. The Ducks take to the road for the first time this season on Friday against No. 18 UNLV. Oregon will look to clean up their offensive play after sloppy ball movement led to 18 turnovers, 11 of which came in the first half.
“I thought we were really careless with the ball tonight,” Altman said.
While there are growing paints to be expected on any team with as many newcomers as the Ducks have this season (the Ducks have five new players this year, including Arik Armstead who is yet to even join the team) the Ducks are confident they’ll continue to gel as a team as they begin to solidify their rotations and develop more chemistry.
“I think our team has started better than in the past,” Singler said. “But we’ve still got a lot of work to do.”