The team's hot shooting faded in the second half, as they shot just 37.5% from the field and missed seven of their last eight three-point attempts. Senior E.J. Singler attributes the great first half shooting to running through the offense, something they didn't do well in the second half.
"I thought the ten threes [three point shots] we took in the first half were all pretty good shots, "head coach Dana Altman said. "In the second half our nine threes,…I know they weren't as good of looks as we had in the first half."
What also slipped off in the second half was the team's defensive intensity, Altman said. The Ducks came out "pumped up", center Tony Woods said and Portland State struggled to beat their full-court pressure. The Vikings turned it over 11 times and shot just 12-28 from the field in the first half.
"I thought we really got up and changed their offense and got them out of the things they wanted to do," Singler said of the first half effort.
"To be a good defensive team, you have to have five guys who get after it. In the second half we probably had one or two guys let down a little bit," Altman said.
Singler helped spark the Ducks past the pesky Vikings, hitting his first field goal of the game, a corner three,midway through the second half to break them out of a slump and hold off the charging Vikings. He finished with just six points, but Altman praised his defensive effort and leadership.
Singler is still recovering from knee tendinitis that held him out of the team's first exhibition game.
"It's continually getting better," he said. "I'm getting back into game shape slowly. It's going to take a little bit, but I'm not that far away."