EUGENE – In a battle of 7-footers, Oregon freshman phenom Bol Bol was outshined by Texas Southern fifth-year senior Trayvon Reed and it led the most stunning lost of the Dana Altman era.
Despite a season-high 32 points and 11 rebounds from Bol, No. 18 Oregon could not generate enough other offense or defend almost anyone from Texas Southern, specifically Reed, whose career-high 23 points set the stage for a stunning 89-84 win by the 25-point underdog Tigers at a silenced Matthew Knight Arena on Monday .
Oregon (4-2) led by as too as 13 (51-38) with 16:28 to go but could put Texas Southern distance. The Tigers shot 57.6 percent from the field, including 16 buckets on their last 29 shots, to outscore the Ducks 57-45 in the second half and pull off the incredible upset.
"There's no way to sugarcoat this, that was a very poor performance defensively," Altman said. "… Just was not a good performance. I'm not blaming them, it starts with me. If we're not any disciplined and tougher than that, it starts with me
"We have not had a loss like that in a long time. We got a lot of work to do a lot more related about rebounding and playing defense. That was a very disappointing loss."
Rewinding Oregon's stunning 89-84 loss to Texas Southern
It was the second win over a Power Conference team this season for Texas Southern (2-4), which has won six straight SWAC championships and opened the year under first-year coach Johnny Jones, formerly of LSU, with a win at Baylor. The last time TSU beat two Power Conference schools in the same season was 2014-15, when it beat Michigan State and Kansas State in a span of three games.
It was just the fourth non-conference loss at Matthew Knight Arena (72-4) for the Ducks, but also the worst. Dropping to a SWAC team pales in comparison to previous losses at MKA to Virginia in 2011, Ole Miss in 2014 and Boise State last season.
"This is a terrible loss," said Payton Pritchard, who scored 14 points and had seven assists for the Ducks. "Honestly, this is a bad loss. If we're going to turn around our season it's right here. It's either we move on from this and we get better or we do not."
The Tigers, who have nine graduate transfers, seniors and juniors, typically struggle during a non-conference schedule of almost exclusively road games, but snapped a four-game losing skid thanks to Reed, who was 9 of 9 from the field, 20 points from John Jones and three other players in double-figures.
Oregon had no answer for Reed, a former four-star prospect and top 100 recruit in 2014 whose career began at Maryland but later went to Auburn before ending at Texas Southern.
"We never got physical with him," Altman said. "He kind of did whatever he wanted. The same way they beat Baylor – he was very effective in that game, we just was not physical. … a guy like that, you got in his legs, be able to physically like they were trying to do with Bol and we just could not do it. "
Oregon (4-2) was without starting power forward and rim protector Kenny Wooten for the whole second half due to what the school said was a bruised left knee after he fell awkwardly attempting a block in the first half of the closing minutes.
Wooten was matched up with Reed inside during the first half but without him the Ducks had turned to Paul White, who fouled out, and others tried to try and defend the interior to no avail.
"Kenny is a big defensive guy and he covers a lot for us, but we can not just lean on Kenny," said Pritchard, who called out his team's lack of intensity at practice affecting games. "All five guys got to start defending."
The Tigers made 11 straight field goals at one point during the second half, with Reed supplying four dunks during that span.
"They just threw lobs and it was not just the bigs; guards were not getting around the ball screens, people were helping over," Pritchard said. "We were not a team on defense; we were all persons."
It was the first 30-point game and the third straight 20-plus point game for Bol, who was 13 of 22 from the field, including 4 of 6 from behind the arc. Bol tied the game at 75 with a pair of free throws with 3:20 to go and his last 3-pointer got Oregon to within 85-82 with 14.3 to go, but it was not enough
After Bol tied the game with 3:20 to go, Reed scored four straight points for TSU, which got 13 points from former Oregon State guard Derrick Bruce, including eight of the Tigers' last 10, with six coming at the free throw line.
Although a 1 for 11 stretch from the field during the first half by Oregon, Texas Southern failed to fully capitalize, going 3 for 15 in the same span and only cut an eight-point (28-20) deficit to three (30-27 ).
After making three straight 3-pointers to open the game, the Ducks went for 1 for their next 10 behind the arc but closed the half with three straight 3s, two by Pritchard, to take a 39-32 halftime lead.
But it all unraveled in the second half for the Ducks, who entered the same place as the Pac-12 team but will definitely fall from the top 25 next week.
Altman said it's a unique challenge to try and get a sophomore and freshman-laden roster to adjust the physical demands of the college game while also not being so devastating home devastating following the mental disadvantages.
"We've got a lot of new guys and I'm not sure they want to adjust to the physicality and toughness that we've got," Altman said. "So I do not know. It's a different challenge. If you're going to compete and be more than physical from that – it starts with coaching, the demands, they've got to increase. a much better job. We're so aggressive-oriented, they're coming off all that worry about is if they hit a shot or not.Stops and rebounds do not mean a lot to us and in the college game they ' ve got to mean a lot more
"We've got to change our entire mindset, I've been talking to our team about that, focusing on the defense and the rebounding. We did not play well offensive, but we did score 84 points; 84 win. You've got to guard and rebound. "
Pritchard, a junior, did not excuse the old members of the squad.
"Obviously, we just need to some things outs," Pritchard said. "Last year, around this time we lost two quick ones and we did not have the changes. So it's going to start in practice, but people are going to make changes … We take days off mentally. t bring it and that needs to change and it shows in games because some plays we bring it, thats not the way.
"That's not the way the Final Four team did it. Last year's team, that's how we did not have intensity and this year's team, that needs to change."