Oregon struggles in 78-64 loss to No. 7 Vanderbilt
Blending nine newcomers and opening the season on the road
against a Top 10 team proved to be too much for the Oregon
Tony Woods scored 12 points, and E.J. Singler and Brett Kingma
added 10 apiece as the Ducks opened their second season under coach
Dana Altman with a 78-64 loss to No. 7 Vanderbilt on Friday
The Ducks are 0-4 when opening the season against a ranked
opponent. They outshot Vanderbilt from the field hitting 49.1
percent (26 of 53) compared to 40.9 percent (27 of 66) but didn’t
help themselves at the free throw line where they made just 6 of
17. They also turned it over 20 times, and Altman was worried about
this game after a couple of poor practices.
”I don’t think our guys were confident coming into this game,”
Altman said. ”When you don’t practice, don’t do a good job of
preparing day in and day out like you need to, you can’t expect to
The Ducks are coming off winning the Collegiate Basketball
Invitational to go 21-18 in Altman’s first season. But he’s working
together almost a new roster featuring five transfers. Jeremy Jacob
played only 17 games last season due to a knee injury, and top
scorer Joevan Catron is gone.
Kingma said the Ducks will get everything figured out.
”I’m not worried, I know guys are going to pick it up,” he
said. ”This loss hurts, but you just got to take care of the
The Ducks ran into a Vanderbilt team that hadn’t been ranked in
the preseason since November 1993 when they were No. 23, and they
haven’t been ranked this high since 1965 when they were fifth.
John Jenkins scored 24 points, Jeffery Taylor added 21 and 11
rebounds and Brad Tinsley 13 as the Commodores took control with an
18-0 run over the final 2:33 of the first half and the first few
minutes of the second.
Oregon led by as many as six points early and didn’t go down
Vanderbilt led by 20 with 13:36 to go, but Oregon came back with
14 straight points. The Ducks got as close as 62-57 on a jumper by
Kingma with 5:09 left. Taylor answered by putting back his own miss
with 4:41 left, then Jabari Brown had a turnover at midcourt.
Johnathan Loyd missed both free throws, then Taylor hit a jumper to
start a 12-0 run to seal the win.
This is the first time in his 13 seasons that coach Kevin
Stallings has had all five starters back at Vanderbilt, but he will
be without center Festus Ezeli for up to eight weeks after the
senior sprained his right knee late last month. Ezeli had been
suspended for the first six games by the NCAA for accepting a meal
and a hotel room from an alumnus during the summer.
”It’s obviously a significant thing for us not to have him,”
Stallings said. ”But we don’t have him, and we’re not going to
have him for a while. So we can’t sit around and lament what it
means not to have Festus. We have to play better, and we have to
play without him and make up for that. And we did. We played
The Commodores struggled early despite the sellout crowd. The
Ducks hit eight of their first 10 shots and led by as much as 18-12
on Kingma’s 3-pointer with 12:18 left. Jenkins, the Southeastern
Conference’s leading scorer last season, missed his first four
shots before hitting his fifth 3 with 6:59 left to put Vandy up
22-20. He wound up 7 of 16 from 3-point range.
Stallings knows Altman well from their days when he was at
Illinois State and Altman coached at Creighton. Stallings said
Altman didn’t play any zone in two exhibitions, and he credited the
Ducks’ zone with bothering his Commodores. He thought he had them
Jenkins said he had a bit of nerves early too.
”As soon as we started moving the ball and moving around we got
used to it and shots started falling,” Jenkins said. ”We got in
the middle, we got kick-outs for 3s, and we got them to foul on us
a little bit, so that was good.”
Stallings didn’t worry about Jenkins missing early.
”I live with all his misses because I know makes are right
around the corner,” Stallings said.
Oregon last led 29-26 when Garrett Sim hit the first of two free
throw attempts with 3:17 remaining. The Ducks didn’t score the rest
of the half.
Freshman Kedren Johnson scored on a layup with 2:33 left to
start the 16-0 run. Taylor hit two free throws to put Vandy back up
30-29. Jenkins added another 3, and Henderson hit two free throws
for a 35-29 halftime lead.
Taylor picked up in the second half where Vandy left off with a
basket, and Jenkins hit a 3-pointer 57 seconds into the half for a
40-29 lead. Tinsley added a layup off the fast break as the
Commodores forced Oregon into five turnovers within the first 3
minutes. Taylor’s layup capped the 18-0 run with 18:02
By the time Jenkins hit another 3 with 14:15 to go, Vandy led
53-35, and Henderson tipped in a missed free throw by Dai-Jan
Parker for the Commodores’ biggest lead, 55-35 with 13:36