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Defense Helps Ducks Best Buffs, Ducks 60 - Buffs 56

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It was a close one!

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

The Oregon Ducks (13-4, 8-3) won a defensive battle versus the Colorado Buffaloes (16-7, 10-6) last night at Matt Knight Arena, 60 to 56.

EUGENE, OREGON - At times it wasn’t pretty, but the Ducks pulled off their fourth consecutive win and tied the regular season series against the Buffs behind an impressive defensive performance. Oregon’s tenacious D held Colorado to just 34.4 percent shooting (21-of-61) and forced 17 turnovers in total.

On the other side of the court, the Buffs were able to keep this a competitive game by outrebounding the Ducks 43 to 29 and forcing 14 turnovers. With 2:40 left in the contest the score was tied at 53 apiece, but Oregon was able to outscore Colorado 7 to 3 in the final moments thanks to some clutch free-throw shooting and a pair of timely defensive rebounds.

Colorado’s D’Shawn Schwartz started the scoring off with a successful and-one. Eugene Omoruyi responded with a triple, but the Buffs were able to pick up early momentum and build an eight-point lead at the 12:23 mark with a Jeriah Horne jumper. The Ducks committed seven turnovers in the first 7:29 of play.

The Ducks rallied to tie it at 21-21 when Omoruyi scored a layup with 3:58 remaining before the half, however, poor rebounding and missed shots resulted in a 30-25 Colorado lead heading into the locker room.

Oregon took their first lead of the game off of a 9-0 run midway through the second but then went scoreless for over five minutes. LJ Figueroa snatched two of his six rebounds in the final minutes of the game and Will Richardson hit a jumper and then three of his final four free throws to seal the victory.

Chris Duarte led the Ducks with 18 points and 7 rebounds. Omoruyi (13 pts, 5 reb) and Richardson (11 pts, 3 reb) were the only other Ducks to score in double digits. Freshman Franck Kepnang again added solid defensive play, tallying three blocks and four points in 16 minutes of play. Oregon shot 37.0 percent in the first half and 50.0 percent in the second to finish 43.4 percent from the field. Colorado standout McKinley Wright IV was held to just 10 points and only hit one of his final nine shots.

The Ducks will need to improve their rebounding before they take on Utah this Saturday and then USC this Monday, the latter game being a new addition to the schedule as it was originally planned to take place on January 30 before it was postponed.

BOX SCORE

GO DUCKS!


NEXT UP: Utah

Saturday, 6 PM, PAC-12 Network - Eugene, Oregon