Eugene, OR – In a game scheduled only two days , the Oregon Ducks took on the San Francisco Dons in Eugene. The Dons had a big win Bubbleville at the Mohegan Sun in Connecticut when they beat nationally ranked Virginia 61-60. They had a three-game winning streak snapped at Cal on Saturday losing by two points on a late shot. There was no upset tonight as Oregon got some separation late in the first half and got past some sloppy play late to finish off a 74-64 victory. Eugene Omoruyi led Oregon with 19 points while Eric Williams Jr. added 16 points.
Taavi Jurkatamm, a 6-9 senior from Estonia, helped the Dons get off to a good start. He scored 11 early points, hitting all four of his shots from the field, to help USF to a 16-11 lead. Oregon came back on a 10-point run of their own, topped off by a layup by Williams Jr. to take a 24-18 lead. The Ducks went small after center N’Faly Dante was called for the second foul with over six minutes remaining. The small-ball lineup has been effective for Oregon so far this season and it was again tonight. Oregon shifted the 6-6 Omoruyi to center and after a slow start to the game Omoruyi got going. He hit a three-pointer, the Ducks’ first after six misses, scored on a drive and made several free throws. He ended the half leading Oregon with ten points while the Ducks took a 41-31 lead into halftime. Jurtatamm led all scorers at the half with 13.
Oregon came out strong in the second half helped by a Chandler Lawson three-pointer, as they scored the first 11 points to take a 21-point lead. The Dons kept on shooting and missing 3s They extended their missed three-point run in the second half to 19 missed 3s in a row before Julian Rishwain connected from the wing. Later in the half USF started hitting their three-pointers and cut Oregon’s lead to 12 on two occasions. Late in the game Oregon was loose with their passing, committing five quick turnovers. San Francisco connected on a three-pointer from Dzmitry Ryuny (3-of-11 on 3s) and drives from Khalil Shabazz (11 points) and Jamaree Bouyea (10 points) in scoring nine straight points to cut the lead to six points at 70-64. Oregon put the game away in the final minute with two free throws by Chris Duarte (11 points) and a drive and a lay-up from LJ Figueroa.
Omoruyi was particularly effective tonight in the post, making ball fakes, to get around USF’s bigger post defenders. He also made 2-of-5 three-pointers while shooting 7-of-15 overall and grabbed five rebounds. Williams. Jr. had two nice steals and subsequent layups and added six rebounds. Figueroa (8 points) is still in a shooting slump (0-of-4 on 3s) but played strong defense coming up with three steals and nine rebounds over 30 minutes. Oregon center Dante took a tough fall and sat out much of the second half. His status for Saturday’s game with Portland is uncertain. Amauri Hardy (11 points) had his most effective game in an Oregon uniform. He scored twice on nice drives and added three rebounds and three assists against only one turnover.
Oregon has not been shooting well from distance lately and tonight was not an exception. The Ducks came into the contest shooting 33.7 percent from deep, only 236th in the nation. In their three prior games they connected on only 12 of their 60 attempts (20 percent) from distance. They were only 2-of-11 on 3s at the half while USF was even worse, missing seven in a row to go 2-of-14 in the half. They extended that run in the second half to 19 missed 3s in a row before Julian Rishwain connected from the wing. Oregon contested USF’s three-point shots well which was an improvement from past games. USF ended the game shooting 23 percent (8-of-35) on 3s while the Ducks shot 4-of-19 (21 percent). Oregon only had seven assists against 12 turnovers, with five of the turnovers in the last three minutes. Rebounding was fairly even with Oregon having a 39-35 edge.