The Oregon Ducks (6-1) beat the Portland Pilots (5-2) by a score of 80 to 41, extending their winning-streak at Matt Knight Arena to 26 games.
About an hour before the game started, it was announced that N‘Faly Dante would be out for the season with a torn ACL in his left leg suffered against the San Francisco Dons on Thursday. The unfortunate news led to LJ Figueroa’s first start of the season, and will ultimately result in increased playing time for early enrollee Franck Kepnang - the 6-foot-11, 4-star center who arrived on campus a couple of weeks ago.
Eric Williams Jr scored the games opening bucket on a layup, then Figueroa added another to give the Ducks a quick 4-0 lead. Chris Duarte got started early with a three-point play after connecting on the and-one, and finished the first half leading all scorers with 12 points.
Isiah Dasher scored the Pilots’ first field goal of the contest at the 16:40 mark to cut the lead to six points, but Duarte hit back-to-back triples to reignite the home team. Five consecutive Portland free throws helped the Pilots get within double digits of the Ducks, but strong defense and a couple of three-pointers from Eugene Omoruyi and Duarte spurred Oregon towards a 35-19 lead at the half.
The Ducks added to their momentum in the second half by continuing a 19-0 run that started in the opening half and ended with a 50-19 lead. Latrell Jones hit a jumper, then a triple to stop the Duck scoring run, but Oregon scored 10 more unanswered points in response.
By game’s end, the Pilots were just 21.4%, 12 for 56, from the floor and hit only three of their 19 shots from downtown. The Ducks out-rebounded the Pilots 42 to 26, and ultimately earned their fifth consecutive victory of the season.
Duarte (21 points), Figueroa (15 points) and Omoruyi (10 points) led the Oregon offense to their largest victory of the season, and the Ducks as a unit shot 57.1% from the floor, 32 for 56, and went 8-of-21 from three-point land. 10 blocks, 10 steals, and 30 points off turnovers highlighted a defensive showcase for the Ducks.
Overall, it was a clinical performance that kept the winstreak alive at Matt Knight!
NEXT UP: UCLA
Wednesday, 12 PM, ESPN2 - Eugene, Oregon