PARADISE ISLAND, BAHAMAS
#11 Oregon Ducks (6-2, 0-0) lost to the #6 UNC Tar Heels (6-1, 1-0) in the Battle 4 Atlantis by a score of 78 to 74. The Ducks finished the tournament with a 1-2 record but have earned some valuable practice time against elite competition.
All three of Oregon’s matches were nail-biters, but after comin back from a 19-point deficit to beat #13 Seton Hall and losing by one point to #8 Gonzaga, the Ducks didn’t have enough in the tank to defeat a Tar Heel team coming off an upset loss to Michigan.
Payton Pritchard hit a triple to kick off the scoring for the battle for third place in the Battle 4 Atlantis. #6 UNC went on an 8-0 run before an Anthony Mathis three-pointer ended the run. Oregon’s free throw issues made an early appearance when Chris Duarte failed to hit either of his two shots.
Both teams got hot from three-point range after the commercial break. starting with Will Richardson who gave the Ducks a 9-8 lead. A couple of Armando Barcot free throws reclaimed the momentum for the Tar Heels, but the lead bounced back and forth as the teams traded layups then three-pointers.
Up by 18-16, UNC’s Justin Pierce drained a triple to give his team some separation, but Addison Patterson assisted Will Richardson for the rebuttal three. The Tar Heels’ bigs out-hustled the Ducks on both boards and were able to maintain a slim lead for the large majority of the first half.
With 4:35 left in the opening half, Shakur Juiston improved his 36 percent free throw shooting by nailing both his shots to make the score 36-33, UNC. Pierce was fouled on the other end of the court and hit his free throws, then CJ Walker was fouled, and after he hit both of his shots Cole Anthony hit two for the Tar Heels.
UNC extended their lead to nine after a pair of missed three-point attempts and a stolen inbound taken for a dunk. The Tar Heels’ 6-0 run was stopped with a Chandler Lawson free throw, then Anthony made a highlight block against the much taller Juiston.
Pritchard drained a corner three to cut the lead to five, but the Tar Heels snatched three consecutive offensive rebounds to eventually earn a tip shot. And with one second remaining, Duarte redeemed his early free throw misses by hitting both of his attempts before the half, resulting in a 46-41 Tar Heel lead.
*Payton Pritchard: (37 min) 19 PTS - 6 AST - 3 REB - 3 STL - 3 TO - 6/13 FG - 5/9 3PT - 2/4 FT
*Chris Duarte: (24 min) 16 PTS - 7 REB - 1 STL - 6/15 FG - 2/7 3PT - 2/4 FT
*Shakur Juiston: (24 min) 3 PTS - 7 REB - 1 AST - 1 STL - 0/5 FG - 3/4 FT
*Anthony Mathis: (16 min) 3 PTS - 1/6 FG - 1/6 3 PT
*Francis Okoro: (15 min) 2 PTS - 3 REB - 1 AST - 1/4 FG
Will Richardson: (29 min) 17 PTS - 3 REB - 3 AST - 2 STL - 1 BLK - 2 TO - 7/12 FG - 3/4 3PT
C.J. Walker: (23 min) 6 PTS - 3 REB - 1 BLK - 1 TO - 1/4 FG - 0/1 3PT - 4/6 FT
Chandler Lawson: (18 min) 5 PTS - 4 REB - 1 AST - 1 STL - 2 BLK - 2/6 FG - 1/2 FT
Addison Patterson: (14 min) 3 PTS - 1 REB - 1 AST - 1 TO - 1/5 FG - 1/3 3PT
*Armando Bacot: 23 PTS - 12 REB - 6 BLK - 7/9 FG - 9/10 FT
*Cole Anthony: 19 PTS - 5 REB - 1 AST - 1 STL - 1 BLK - 2 TO - 6/13 FG - 1/4 3PT 6/6 FT
*Brandon Robinson: 13 PTS -3 REB - 4 AST - 2 STL - 1 BLK - 2 TO - 4/8 FG - 3/7 3PT - 2/2 FT
*Garrison Brooks: 9 PTS - 10 REB - 1 AST - 3 BLK - 3 TO - 4/6 FG - 1/1 FT
*Leaky Black: 2 TO - 0/1 FG - 0/1 3PT
Oregon was 36.1% from the floor, 44.4% from the three and 7-of-14 at the free throw line going into the second half. Duarte missed a three but scored the first points of the half with an easy layup. Duarte then hit a three to make it a one-point game before Bacot scored the first Tar Heel points on a layup.
Brandon Robinson assisted a jumper by Garrison Brooks but injured himself moments later and limped towards the medical staff. A transition score from Pritchard to Chandler Lawson cut the lead to three, but UNC continued to snatch up offensive rebounds which helped them go on a 5-0 run before a Richardson layup ended the streak.
With 10:45 left in the game, Pritchard sank a triple to make it a six-point game, and minutes later found Lawson for an alley-oop after UNC scored a quick layup. After the official TV timeout, Bacot made a couple of free throws, and after a Duarte jumper the Tar Heels score the next five points as the Ducks looked gassed.
Once again, the Ducks put together a comeback late in the game. Under five minutes left in the game, Oregon was down by ten points when Juiston made one of his two free throws to cut the lead into since digits. Then, Pritchard hit a pull-up triple on the wing. After Walker skillfully forced a Tar Heel turnover, Pritchard found Richardson who drained a three. UNC committed an unforced turnover when a player passed to thin air, then Pritchard was fouled on the other side of the court and hit his pair of free throws to make it a one-point game.
Oregon’s 9-0 run ended when Anthony made a layup with 1:06 left, but Walker was able to pick up two off of a missed shot by Pritchard. Anthony was strategically fouled, and with ten seconds left in the game, Pritchard missed a contested three-pointer which would have likely sent the game to overtime. The Tar Heels were fouled and added two free throws to their score, Duarte hit a last second triple but with too little time to make a difference.
Final Score: UNC 78 - Ducks 74
Once again, a better night from the charity stripe could have changed the game; Oregon was 12 of 20 on their free throws, the Tar Heels 20 of 21.
The Ducks were 35.7% (25/70) from the floor and 40% (12/30) on threes, while the Tar Heels were 41.9% (26/62) from the field and 26.1% (6/23) from three-point range.
Oregon finished with 13 assists to 7 turnovers but ultimately lost this game on the board: Ducks with 39 (22 offensive, 17 defensive), Tar Heels 47 (19 offensive, 28 defensive).