The Oregon men’s basketball team followed up their dramatic overtime victory over future conference opponent Michigan with a win against UTEP at Matthew Knight Arena on Saturday night. Though the final margin of 71-49 was comfortable, the Miners kept the game close throughout the early part of the game. UTEP went ahead 10-8 at the 11:26 mark of the first half. They would not trail until 4:07 remained in the first when Kario Oquendo made a driving layup and an ensuing free throw to put the Ducks on top 20-18. The Miners briefly went ahead again 21-20 soon afterwards. Jadrian Tracey’s pair of free throws on the ensuring posession gave the Ducks the lead for good with 2:31 left in the 1st.
Oregon out rebounded UTEP 32-26 and held a 28-24 advantage on points in the paint. The Ducks dominated the Miners with their shooting, going 55% from the field and 76% from the charity stripe compared to 36% and 50%, respectively, for the visitors. The Ducks also saw significant contributions from the bench. Both Kee Barthelemy and Jadrian Tracey played 23 minutes each and scored double digit points along with three rebounds apiece.
Jerm Couisnard led Oregon with 18 points to go with three assists, tied for the the team lead with Jacks Shelstad who added 11 points of his own. Kwame Evans Jr. rounded out the double digit scorers for Oregon with 12 while Mahamadou Diawara led the team with 9 rebounds.
With several prominent players still unavailable due to long term injuries, the men’s team has generated some excitement in recent weeks. Whether the momentum can carry them into Pac-12 play in the new year remains to be seen. The men will be back in action at Matthew Knight Arena this Tuesday at 7pm against California Baptist.