EUGENE, Ore. – With his team off to another slow start, Oregon coach Dana Altman turned to his bench to throw some fire and ice at Portland State.
Jalil Abdul-Bassit provided the heat with all 19 of his points by halftime, and Jordan Bell finished with half of the Ducks' 12 blocked shots that cooled off the Vikings as Oregon roared away early to an 81-59 victory on Sunday night.
Joseph Young also had 19 points for the Ducks (4-2), who had five players in double figures and snapped a two-game losing streak. Dillon Brooks had a double-double with 16 points, 12 in the second half, and a season-high 14 rebounds.
Bell also had a double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds to go with his six blocks. Casey Benson, the third freshman starter for Altman, finished with 13 points.
With no starter taller than 6-foot-6, Oregon's sudden shot-blocking prowess, led by the 6-foot-9 Bell, helped hold the Vikings (4-1) to a season-low 25.8 percent shooting (17 of 66). DaShaun Wiggins led Portland State with 15 points off the bench, and Bryce White and Braxton Tucker added 10 apiece.
"They just kind of put their heads down and drove it as hard as they could to the basket" Altman said, "which allowed us to come over from the weak side a number of times (for blocks).
"(Bell) did a nice job of getting a few. Jordan's got the ability to get off his feet quick. When his knees are bent, he's a pretty good athlete."
The Vikings started their season with a 76-68 victory at USC, the first in nine tries for coach Tyler Geving against a Pac-12 opponent, but they were no match for the Ducks after the first three minutes and 40 seconds.
Portland State opened a brief 8-2 lead before Oregon took control on both ends of the floor.
After missing their first four three-point attempts, the Ducks made five of their next seven — including four straight by Abdul-Bassit — to fuel a 27-1 run.
During the seven-minute blitz, the Vikings misfired on all 14 of their shots from the field and had five blocked to fall behind 29-9.
"We got stops defensively, that was the big thing," Benson said. "Getting out in transition and getting some easy baskets really helped."
Abdul-Bassit finished the half shooting 6-for-7 and had five 3s — the last of the circus variety that he banked home from the right of the key.
Benson's pull-up 3 at the buzzer gave the Ducks' their second 20-point lead at 50-30.
"The first half we had 11 assists and three turnovers, a really good ratio," Altman said, "and that's why we scored 50 points and shot the ball 50 percent."
Geving said his game plan was to take the ball inside against the Ducks to try to get them into foul trouble. However, he hadn't factored in Bell's shot-altering effect.
"I think their pressure got to us a little bit and we started taking some tough shots at the end of the shot clock," Geving said. "But give them credit. Defensively, they're pretty good."
Although Young was just 6 of 17, Oregon enjoyed its best shooting night since its season opener at 45.3 percent (29 of 64). The Ducks were nearly as accurate from 3-point range at 42.3 percent (11 of 26) and missed just one of their 13 free throws.
Portland State: The Vikings were just 4 of 20 from 3-point range and were outscored 18-2 in fast-break points. White led the Vikings in rebounds with eight. No Viking had more than two assists.
Oregon: Sunday's victory started a stretch of 10 of 11 games at home for the Ducks, including their first three of the Pac-12 Conference season. The lone exception is a game in Chicago on Dec. 13 against Illinois. Young made six more free throws to give him 36 in a row to start the season.
WARY OF THE 3
The Vikings, who were looking for their first 5-0 start since the 1976-77 season, certainly had Altman's attention with its unbeaten start. "We were really worried about Portland State because they came into the game shooting 50 percent from 3," he said. It turned out that the Vikings made just two in each half. "I felt like we had some good looks and just couldn't get anything to go," Geving said.
SHAKING THINGS UP
For the sixth straight game, Oregon took its time finding any offensive rhythm until Altman waved in his first subs. It wasn't until Bell's dunk and Abdul-Bassit's first jump shot that the Ducks got going. "I don't know if we're going to have to change the warm-up, change the lineup, but something's gotta give, because we're just not getting off to very good starts," Altman said.
Portland State is at Portland on Wednesday night.
Oregon hosts Concordia (Ore.) on Wednesday night.