“I’m not sure the guys believe what I’m telling them,” said a clearly frustrated Dana Altman after the Oregon Ducks fell to the Oregon State Beavers 76-64 Friday evening at Gill Coliseum in Corvallis. “We have a lot of new guys and they don’t understand the competitiveness of conference games and how tough it was going to be.”
For the opening 20 minutes the Ducks were at least competitive despite hitting only 11 of 35 shots from the floor (31.4%).
Trailing 30-29 at the break, the Ducks had to be thinking if they shot the ball a little better in the second half they could escape with a road win. But that was not the case. While Oregon was better from the field, connecting on 14 of 34 for 41.2%, they allowed the Beavers to shoot at a 56.7% clip and paid the price as Oregon State pulled away from the Ducks with a 13-1 spurt midway through the half and Oregon was never able to recover.
OSU out rebounded the Ducks 43-36 and shot 14 more free throws, out scoring Oregon 14-6 from the line.
“They just outworked us, there is no other way to say it,” said Altman. “In the second half, the offensive boards didn’t really give us an opportunity. We took some tough shots and at times bad shots. Our ball movement wasn’t very good. We have a lot of work to do, and I’m really disappointed in the effort.”
Paul White’s 16 points led the Ducks with Victor Bailey Jr. adding 11. Oregon State was led by Tres Tinkle’s 19 points.
The loss drops Oregon’s season record to 11-5 overall and 1-2 in conference play and the task gets no easier with a road trip to Arizona State and Arizona up next followed by a home stand against USC and UCLA. If fortunes don’t change quickly, Oregon could find themselves 1-6 in the Pac-12 and their season on the brink.
“We haven’t made the improvements we thought we would have,” Altman said. “Did I see this coming? No. But I’ve been telling guys we haven’t made the improvements we need to make and you can see it in our game.”
“We feel like we have got to try and make improvements,” said White. “It’s tough after a loss and especially the way we’ve been losing. We feel like we’ve been letting games slip away from us by not putting our best foot forward.”
If Oregon harbors any hopes of post season play, that will have to change and change quickly.
~ Rick Morgan