Game #9-196: Houston Baptist Huskies at Oregon DucksDecember 22, 2012 3:00 pm
Matthew Knight Arena
I love living in the city of Portland and the state of Oregon, but one thing I wish we had more of was Division I basketball. Like most areas in the western half of the country people and schools are more spread out here. I go to almost every Portland game and a fair number of Portland State games, but watching mid-majors anywhere else means at least a 90-minute drive to Corvallis and Oregon State or a little longer to Eugene to watch Oregon. This requires a little more time and planning but when I have a chance to see another mid-major I like to take it. My schedule was open Saturday and the Oregon band was looking for some people to help fill out the band with school being out.
Today's opponent for the Ducks was Houston Baptist of the Great West Conference. It would be the Ducks' sixth opponent rated 200+ in the RPI. Teams in that category make up half of Oregon's non-conference schedule, as often happens above the Red Line. HBU's 4-6 record was made up of two wins over non-Division I teams and a victories over Arkansas-Pine Bluff and Maryland-Eastern Shore. Their only other game to date against a team above the Red Line was against Rice. In short, the Huskies were struggling while playing the 10th-weakest schedule (#338) in the country. There was every reason to think this game would not be pretty.
The game was downright ugly for the Huskies, really. It was 15-4 at the first media timeout. It took Houston Baptist about 11 minutes to score their 10th point. It was 51-30 at halftime and I spent the second half wondering if the Ducks could take a 40-point lead. They did when they made their final basket of the game for a 91-50 final score. The Huskies unfortunately really were not fast or athletic enough to match up with the Ducks. They were outrebounded 49=35 and the Ducks had 11 steals. By halftime For Oregon, EJ Singler had three superhoops and 13 points while Damyean Dotson scored 10 to lead the outside attack. Up front Tony Woods and Carlos Emory had 14 and 10 points respectively. The Ducks used this game to give playing time to everyone and nobody played more than 21 minutes. The Huskies tried as hard as they could and had good games out of Art Bernardi (14 points), Tyler Russell (10 points), and Spenser Gales (9 rebounds).
What was more interesting in this game was how the crowd treated it. Matthew Knight Arena holds about 12,000 but the announced attendance was 5,284. School was out and it was the weekend before Christmas, but an arena less than halfway full for a team that expects to challenge for an NCAA bid and is actually entertaining to watch is a little disappointing. Not only that, it was extremely quiet. There were many times you could hear the players and coaches. Really, it was as quiet as Autzen Stadium is loud during football games. Yesterday's crowd showed us Oregon is still a football school. Once the the Pac 12 games start the fans will shift their attention to it. It doesn't help when your two biggest games, UNLV and Cincinnati, are away from home.
Games like this one are not something anyone wants. Nobody wants to watch or play in an extremely lopsided game. Mostly they remind us what a big role money plays in college sports, especially in Division I, and that it's still a business. One team makes some money (and gets to play in one of the nicest college arenas on the West Coast), and the other gets what should be an easy win. Saturday this business transaction played out as it has countless times in the past and will in the future.
at OREGON 91, HOUSTON BAPTIST 50
HOUSTON BAPTIST 4-7 (0-0) -- A. Bernardi 4-10 3-5 14; T. Russell 4-14 3-4 12; J. Harper 2-11 0-0 4; R. Lewis 2-7 1-4 6; A. Hill 3-6 0-0 7; D. Womack 1-6 0-0 2; M. Smith 0-3 0-0 0; S. Gales 2-4 1-2 5; L. Thomas 0-2 0-0 0; C. Crayton 0-3 0-0 0; C. Joyce 0-1 0-0 0; D. Bowden 0-1 0-0 0; M. Turner 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 18-69 8-15 50.
OREGON 10-2 (0-0) -- D. Dotson 5-6 0-1 10; E. Singler 5-6 0-0 13; J. Loyd 0-3 2-2 2; B. Carter 1-7 6-6 8; W. Austin 2-2 4-8 8; D. Artis 1-6 1-2 4; A. Kazemi 2-4 0-0 4; C. Emory 3-5 3-3 10; T. Woods 7-13 0-1 14; W. Moore 1-6 0-0 3; F. Richardson III 1-3 0-0 3; A. Kuemper 4-5 0-0 9; C. Baker 1-2 0-0 3; N. Lucenti 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 33-68 16-23 91.
Three-point goals: HBU 6-15 (A. Hill 1-3; M. Smith 0-2; T. Russell 1-2; A. Bernadri 3-3; J. Harper 0-2; R. Lewis 1-2; M. Turner 0-1), ORE 9-16 (E. Singler 3-4; J. Loyd 0-2; C. Emory 1-1; A. Kuemper 1-1; D. Artis 1-3; W. Moore 1-2; F. Richardson III 1-2; C. Baker 1-1); Rebounds: HBU 35 (S. Gales 9), ORE 49 (W. Austin 9); Assists: HBU 7 (R. Lewis 3), ORE 20 (A. Kazemi 5); Total Fouls -- HBU 22, ORE 19; Fouled Out: HBU-None; ORE-None.
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