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Ducks hold off Wiseman’s No. 13 Tigers in Phil Knight Invitational

NCAA Basketball: Memphis at Oregon Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports

Shakur Juiston’s Ducks stymie five-star freshman James Wiseman and the Memphis Tigers, earn 82-74 victory at the Phil Knight Invitational in Portland, Oregon.

The new-look Ducks led by a familiar face in senior guard Payton Pritchard improve to 3-0 with the win over No. 13 Memphis. Whether, or not Tigers head coach, Penny Hardaway paid $11,500 in moving expenses for Wiseman’s family, or ruled ineligible by the NCAA, or given court order approval to play, was of no concern to Oregon.

Both Memphis and the Ducks got off to a slow start and Oregon began 2-10 from the field. Fortunately, the five-star Memphis, Tennessee native fell into early foul trouble and was forced to sit out the majority of the first half. Buckets started dropping for Oregon with Wiseman riding the pine and the Ducks built a double-digit lead mid-way through the first on a Chris Duarte corner three.

Duarte later left the game in the fist half with an apparent knee injury. He started the second half, but soon after returned to the bench.

The Ducks looked to be in firm control of the game, but the Tigers stormed back with a 9-0 run to take a 31-30 lead. However, the Memphis lead wouldn’t last long as UNLV grad transfer Shakur Juiston and New Mexico grad transfer Anthony Mathis took over.

Juiston finished with a double-double, recording 17 points and 10 rebounds while shooting 8 of 15 from the field. This sets a new season-high for the grad transfer helping boost his 10.5 ppg average.

The Robin to Pritchard’s Batman, Mathis is currently red-hot from beyond the arch, shooting 13 of 16 (81%) in his last two games. Mathis finished with 12 points and three rebounds on 4-of-6 shooting and 4 of 5 from beyond the three-point line. Batman, sorry, Pritchard struggled from deep for most of the night. Fortunately, Dana Altman’s floor general is a bulldog; and while the three may not have been falling for him much of the game, Pritchard hit Memphis with the dagger with just 1:34 remaining in the second half.

Wiseman kept Memphis close in the second half finishing with 14 points, but the Juiston-led Ducks closed out a big non-conference victory over the #13 Tigers.

A starting rotation of nearly all upper-classmen has Oregon looking strong to start and in rhythm early, something not seen out of last year’s squad. Oregon finished 29 of 60 from the field and 9 of 23 from beyond the arch. Improving their three-point percentage to .418 on the season after a rough season opener that saw only one made three.