After a long layoff due to COVID-19 protocols within the UO Men’s Basketball team, Oregon and Oregon State took to the hardwood in Corvallis for the first of two matchups this season.
Both teams started off hot, each shooting over 50% in the first 10 minutes as the lead seesawed throughout the first half, with the Ducks holding a 40-36 lead at the break.
Oregon would never relinquish the lead for the entirety of the second half, although there were five more ties.
With the game knotted in the final minute, Eric Williams Jr. sank the go-ahead three-pointer with 13 seconds remaining. Williams scored all nine of his 14 points in the second half.
After intentionally fouling and then making only one of two free throws themselves, Oregon played hard-nosed defense on the final possession and Oregon State was unable to convert inside to tie the game at the final buzzer.
Williams was one of four Oregon players who scored in double digits. Joining him were Jacob Young with 16 points, N’Faly Dante with 12, and Will Richardson with 10.
With the win, the Ducks moved to 2-2 in conference and 9-6 overall. An NCAA Tournament berth in March still appears to be within reach, but Oregon can nary afford any more losses to sub-par teams. Also, the Ducks will likely need to bolster their resume with a signature win at some point.
They will get another chance on Thursday as they travel to Los Angeles to take on the #3 UCLA Bruins. It will be the first of two meetings between the teams, with the second coming at the end of February in Eugene.