Portland, OR – The No. 14-ranked Oregon Ducks pulled out a gritty 82-74 win over the No.13-ranked Memphis Tigers in the opener of the Phil Knight Invitational before 6.976 fans at the Moda Center in Portland. Shakur Juiston led Oregon with 17 points and 10 rebounds. Lester Quinones, one of Memphis’s talented freshman, led the Tigers with 16 points. 7-1 James Wiseman, projected to be the top pick in next year’s NBA Draft, battled early foul trouble and finished with 14 points and 12 rebounds in 21 minutes of action.
The Ducks earned the victory despite committing 18 turnovers and shooting only 15-of-27 from the free throw line. Starting guard Chris Duarte left the game late in the first half with a bruised knee and did not return. The injury is not serious. Freshman Addison Patterson took up some of the slack, getting to the basket and scored seven points in 17 minutes. Fellow freshman Chandler Lawson also provided help inside. The 6-8 Lawson, from Memphis and playing against some of his friends, scored eight points and grabbed four rebounds in 13 minutes.
The Ducks took a 41-35 lead into halftime and fought back after Memphis took a 49-48 lead at the first media time out of the second half. After that the Ducks scored nine points in a row, four from Patterson, to take control. Payton Pritchard hit two big late three-pointers to help expend the lead when the Tigers drew within four points. After two very strong games, Pritchard wasn’t at his best, committing six of Oregon’s turnovers and shooting only 2-of-8 from deep in scoring 14 points.
Will Richardson added a steady backcourt hand playing 31 minutes adding 10 points and six assists against only two turnovers. Richardson also connected on a late three-pointer that expanded Oregon’s lead to 74-67. Juiston battled throughout and had eight first half rebounds. 6-9 Francis Okoro returned to the court after sitting out a game after he was struck by a car. Okoro added seven points and nine rebounds and helped in trying to contain Wiseman inside
Wiseman was limited to four first half minutes as he picked up two quick fouls. Oregon did an excellent job defensively on him, limiting him to three field goal attempts until late in the game when Wiseman came to life. He connected on a nice 18-footer and added two slam dunks off offensive rebounds, He also made 4-of-6 free throws and showed a nice stroke. He’s a quick jumper with size and shooting skills. If he continues to be able to suit up for Memphis he’ll be a major factor moving forward.
The Tigers other likely first round draft pick, Precious Achiuwa was limited to five shot attempts in 24 minutes and finished with only five points. He has the skill set NBA scouts are looking for and he will likely show that skill as he gets more game experience.
Oregon did a decent job battling on the boards, ending the night with only a -2 rebounding deficit. Memphis couldn’t connect from deep, shooting only 4-of-23 on 3s. Guard Boogie Ellis, another talented freshman, only scored six points on 2-of-11 from the field. Memphis had a 25-9 edge in points off turnovers but couldn’t turn that into a win due to their shooting troubles. Overall they shot only 37.7 percent on the night compared to 48.3 percent for the Ducks.