Not even a season-high 32 points from freshman sensation Bol Bol could rescue Oregon from suffering a stunning loss at the hands of Texas Southern (2-4), as the Ducks fell 89-84 on their own floor on Monday night. The Houston-based Tigers of the Southwestern Athletic Conference were noncompetitive in lopsided losses to Gonzaga and San Diego State during the past two weeks.
Oregon had been playing well up until Monday, most notably upsetting Syracuse a little over a week ago at Madison Square Garden in the 2K Classic and climbing as high as No. 13 in the rankings. But the Ducks struggled to form a semblance of a defense during the final 20 minutes, and couldn't contain TSU's offensive attack that came in flurries and eventually overwhelmed them.
Another factor from Monday: Sophomore forward Kenny Wooten bruised his left knee in the early going and did not return to the game. He played only seven minutes -- down from his 20 minutes-plus per game average.
TSU capitalized on the absence of Wooten, the 6-9, 220-pound big, by unleashing big man Trayvon Reed. Neither Bol Bol nor Paul White could limit him; he went for a team-high 23 points on 9-of-9 shooting in 31 minutes of action.
"There's no way to sugarcoat this; that was a very poor performance" Oregon coach Dana Altman said after the game. "Defensively, we gave up 57 points the second half, they shot 58 percent, 54 from 3, we got outrebounded by nine, took bad shots, just was not a good performance."
Oregon's slate doesn't get easier from here, and the team will have no time to sulk. The Ducks will fly south to visit the unbeaten Houston Cougars before a four-game homestand.