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November 17, 2012

Ducks crush visiting Vanderbilt

The Oregon Ducks mens' basketball team (4-0) hosted the Vanderbilt Commodores (3-0) on Friday night at the Mathew Knight Arena. E.J. Singler scored 22 points to lead Oregon as they dominated Vanderbilt in a 74-48 victory.

The Ducks used their standard five starters with their new addition Arsalan Kazemi. Kazemi, because of his transfer status, had to be cleared to play for the Ducks by the NCAA due to the transfer regulations. The transfer regulation was waived just this week and Kazemi suited up as a Duck for the first time against the Commodores. His active status on the team will be a huge help for the ducks. The senior transfer from Rice University was a Conference USA standout who averaged a double double in his three years there.

The crowd immediately reacted to Kazemi's presence on the court for the first time and he responded with a monster ally-oop jut seconds before the half ended. Oregon's head coach, Dana Altman had nothing but good things about the senior transfer.

"I think he can change the game for us. I want him to be more aggressive but he just hasn't practiced enough. We just want Arsalan to play hard and if he does that, he'll be a big part of our team. He's gifted, he's physical and he's got the experience."

From the start of the game, Oregon came ready to play with Tony Woods leading the way. Woods had Oregon's first seven points and continued dominating in the key through out the game. When asked if him getting a low of action in the key was part of the game plan, he responded, "it just kind of happened as the game developed. Double teams gave me the opportunity to stay active and help the team offensively."

The Ducks played full court pressure defense and bullied the Commodores into making mistakes, especially in the passing lane.

Vanderbilt managed to get on a few runs during the game but every time they got hot, Oregon would cool them off and demand control of the game with precision passing and 3 point shooting.

The Ducks ended the half with a three-point buzzer beater from point guard Johnathon Loyd with a controlling lead over the Commodores 41-20.

Vanderbilt took the floor after the first half in hopes of cutting Oregon's lead and trying to get back in the game. Their luck didn't change as their head coach, Kevin Stallings, was ejected from the game due to a double technical. With their head coach in the locker room, Oregon remained poised on offense and never allowed the Commodores back in the game.

Vanderbilt's offense never figured out how to work around Oregon's pressure zone defense letting Oregon have control of the lead for the entirety of the game. The game ended with a score of 74 to 48. The Ducks are now 5-0 and will be playing Jacksonville State next on November 19th @Mathew Knight Arena (8 p.m. PST).

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