Idaho State (1-5) at Oregon (7-1)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, December 8, 6 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Matthew Knight Arena (12,365) -- Eugene, Oregon. Television: Pac-12 Network. Home Record: Idaho State 1-0, Oregon 6-0. Away Record: Idaho State 0-3, Oregon 1-0. Neutral Record: Idaho State 0-2, Oregon 0-1. Conference Record: Idaho State 0-0, Oregon 0-0. Series Record: Oregon leads 4-1.
GAMES NOTES: In the third contest of a four-game homestand the Oregon Ducks will play host to the Idaho State Bengals in a non-conference tilt at Matthew Knight Arena.
This matchup opens up a five-game road trip for Idaho State which is coming off its first win of the season. The Bengals dropped their first five games and the lone win came against NAIA foe Montana Western. The next stop on the trip matches Idaho State with Cal State Fullerton.
It has been a strong start to the season for Oregon which has seven wins in eight contests entering play. After an 80-59 victory over Arkansas-PineBluff the Ducks are 2-0 on the current homestand and 6-0 overall at Matthew Knight Arena this season. In the final bout of the home stand the Ducks will play host to Nebraska.
Oregon has won the last three games in the series between these two squads. The most recent was a 77-71 triumph in Eugene during the 2009-10 season. The Ducks lead the all-time series 4-1 overall.
Idaho State took some of the frustration of its poor start on Montana Western early by netting 44.8 percent of its shots, including 5-of-11 from 3-point range to take a 36-17 lead at halftime. The Bengals let up in the second half recording only nine field goals but a 20-5 edge in free throws in the game proved to be the difference. Idaho State also had an edge in rebounds (37-31) thanks in large part to a 13-point, 13-rebound double-double from Melvin Morgan.
Aside from the win over Montana Western, Idaho State has been one of the worst offensive teams in the country. The Bengals score only 51.5 points per game, which is better than only Grambling State among the 347 teams at the Division I level. Idaho State is also near the bottom of the nation in field goal percentage (39.1) and rebounds (27.3 pg). Idaho State has managed to hold opponents to 55.0 points per game on 40.7 percent shooting, but that has not equated to wins. Morgan (13.2 ppg, 5.7 rpg, 3.3 apg) is the prime scoring option for the squad as well as a strong contributor across the board. Chris Hansen (11.5 ppg) is also scoring in double figures and is coming off a 20- point effort against Montana Western. Hansen is a gunner from the outside who has hit on 39.4 percent of his shots from 3-point range. Tomas Sanchez (8.8 ppg, 4.2 rpg) is the only other player on the team scoring more than five points per game.
It was Oregon's strong play in the second half that allowed the Ducks to blow by Arkansas-Pine Bluff last Saturday. The Ducks hit 56.0 percent of their shots after intermission and extended a seven-point halftime lead to a 21- point advantage when the clock ran out on the second period. The Ducks also had a massive 40-21 edge in rebounding. Oregon didn't take care of the ball particularly well in the game committing a game-high 21 turnovers. Carlos Emory came off the bench to score a team-high 16 points.
Oregon has not had as much trouble scoring nor picking up wins as Idaho State. The Ducks are netting 78.5 points per game and shooting 47.5 percent from the field, both of which are within the top 40 marks in the country. Oregon also owns a hefty +8.4 margin in rebounds and is outscoring opponents by 12.5 points per game. As a team, Oregon is adept at getting into passing lanes and forcing turnovers as they collect 10.6 steals per game, the 16th most in the country. Balance is the key to the Oregon offense with four scorers in double figures. Emory (11.2 ppg) and Damyean Dotson (11.2 ppg) are each leading the team. E.J. Singler (10.9 ppg, 4.2 rpg) stretches the floor from the forward position. Dominic Artis (10.2 ppg) gets it done out of the backcourt. In the frontline Arsalan Kazemi (9.0 ppg, 9.5 rpg) and Tony Woods (10.1 ppg) are the top options.
It has been a tall task to come into Matthew Knight Arena and pull out a win this season, and thus far no challenger has been able to do so. With its lack of offensive firepower, Idaho State won't put an end to that.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Oregon 82, Idaho State 59
12/08 10:37:23 ET