Eugene, OR – The No.8-rated Oregon Ducks took care of business Wednesday night before 5,803 home fans against the visiting Montana Grizzlies in a 81-48 win. Oregon had five players in double figures and dominated the paint by outscoring Montana 46-24.
It was the big men that carried the offense this time around for the Ducks as their two centers, Francis Okoro and N’Faly Dante, combined to shoot 10-for-14 from the field, scoring a total of 23 points. Their presence on the defensive end made it difficult for the Grizzlies to get any easy baskets as they shot just 34 percent on the night. Okoro, a 6-9 sophomore, finished with his best performance of the season, scoring 12 points (5-of-6) and grabbing a career high 17 rebounds.
The long anticipation is finally over as the 5-star freshman Dante finally got his first action and he didn’t disappoint the crowd. The 6-11, 252-pound center came into the game and immediately posted up, backed down the smaller opposing player and laid the ball in for his first collegiate basket. Dante, a potential 2020 NBA Lottery pick displayed his versatility for a big man as he generated offense in the post and showed his athletic ability with two thunderous alley-oop dunks. Still getting into game shape Dante just played 14 minutes but scored 11 points on 5-for-8 shooting and exhibited some nice passing out of the post.
Oregon’s senior point guard Payton Pritchard, who earned the Oscar Robertson National Player of The Week Award finished for his performance against Michigan, had a solid all-around game scoring 14 points, grabbing five rebounds and dishing out seven assists. Coming off the bench Will Richardson continued his hot shooting on the season as the combo guard scored 14 points (6-of-8 FG) and went 2-for-3 from the 3-point line.
The Grizzlies struggled to find consistency on the offensive end with poor shooting and finishing the game with 20 turnovers which generated 26 points for Oregon. Sayeed Pridgett was one that struggled to get his shot going especially from mid-range. Once he began to attack the hoop he was able to capitalize on several shots around the basket. He ended the contest with 11 points (5-for-13) and led the team in rebounds as a combo guard with eight and assists with three. Senior guard Kendal Manuel led the team in scoring with 15 points.
Oregon’s (9-2) next opponent will be at home this Saturday against Texas Southern (3-7). Montana (4-6) will play at Nebraska Omaha (6-8) on December 21st.
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