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January 24, 2013Oregon held on to their win streak to stay atop Pac-12, beating the Cougars 68-61 at Matt Arena in Eugene after a poor performance by both teams in the first half.
The teams were off to a sloppy start, Oregon only shooting 38.5% and Washington State shot 41.2% from the field in the first half. Oregon however did a good job going up strong and drawing the foul.
Cougars beating the Ducks from downtown making 53.8% of their shots and a vast majority were uncontested.
Oregon struggled to rebound the ball defensively giving the Cougars eight offensive rebounds. There was a lack of energy on the boards and battling for the ball.
The second half was a completely different story. The Ducks came out with a sense of purpose being aggressive attacking the boards while being patient in finding the open shot.
"They won almost every stat, 10 turnovers which led to 18 first half points really put us in a hole." Altman said. "Second half was a lot different, I thought the guys energy was a lot better we didn't let them hit 7 for 13 and held them to 0-11 from the arc. "
E.J Singler started to give the Ducks momentum making huge plays and playing like a true senior. He ended the night leading the team with 19 points and 5 assists.
Arsalan Kazemi also contributed to the aggressiveness; he dominated with 16 points, 7 boards and 4 steals.
"We weren't happy with our effort in the first half," Kazemi said. "I'm really glad we changed that at halftime. We started to focus on the defensive end and that's when all the good things happen for us."
Damyean Dotson also brought a huge presence down low getting 9 boards and 11 points.
Dana Altman touched up on the Ducks key to success in the future.
"If we are going to get better this year its because of our seniors and their sense of urgency."
This was a very important win for the Ducks to have come back from a poor performance in the first, and a deficit of 10 points. The Ducks continue to show that they are a force to be reckoned with.