Ducks Win Home Opener, 69-52
EUGENE, Ore. — LJ Figueroa and Eric Williams Jr. each recorded a double-double to help the UO men's basketball team beat Eastern Washington in Matthew Knight Arena on Monday, 69-52.
Eugene Omoruyi continued to set the pace offensively for the Ducks, scoring a game-high 18 points just hours after being named Pac-12 player of the week. Though it ended up being a comfortable victory, Oregon's play was uneven at times, with UO coach Dana Altman expressing the desire to see better ball movement on offense and improved communication on offense.
"I told the guys I didn't expect it to be perfect, but we've got to make improvements," Altman said. "We've got a lot of new faces out there."
How It Happened: The Ducks looked to Omoruyi and N'Faly Dante early, going up 8-6 on a 14-footer by Dante. All of Eastern Washington's first four baskets were by Jacob Davison, including a jumper that tied it 8-8. Eastern's defensive activity had an early impact, leading to three early offensive fouls on Oregon; the third charge of the half preceded a three-pointer that gave the Eagles their biggest lead, 21-15.
That third charge on the Ducks was the second on Omoruyi, who spent much of the rest of the first half on the bench. Oregon's offense stagnated initially without him, but a put-back by Figueroa and a three-pointer by Williams tied it, 22-22. Eastern's last lead was 28-27 before the UO men finished the first half on a 9-4 run, capped by freshman guard Jalen Terry's end-to-end, buzzer-beating layin after collecting a rebound on the defensive end.
Oregon continued to pull away early in the second half, with Williams hitting consecutive UO buckets for a 41-34 advantage. Eastern scored to end a scoreless stretch of 3:46, but Omoruyi answered with two baskets and then fed Figueroa on the break for a 47-36 lead.
The lead was still 11 at 55-44 after a layup by Omoruyi with 8:13 left, after which a series of turnovers kept the Ducks from pulling away earlier than they ultimately did. It eventually happened in the last three minutes, with Eastern going the final 4:35 without a field goal and the Ducks getting three-pointers from Williams and Terry down the stretch.
Who Stood Out: Omoruyi scored his 18 points on 8-of-18 shooting. Williams was 3-of-5 three-point shooting for 17 points and grabbed 10 rebounds, and Figueroa had 12 points with 10 rebounds.
Chris Duarte had a quiet night offensively with three points, but he had three assists and blocked two shots, and the Ducks were plus-17 on the scoreboard with him on the floor. Similarly, Amauri Hardy went scoreless but led Oregon with five assists, and the team was plus-16 with him in the game.
What It Means: The Ducks never trailed by more than six and didn't trail again after a three-pointer by Terry with 3:39 left in the first half. The win would have been even more comfortable had Oregon seen a few more shots fall; the Ducks shot 44 percent, slightly off their average through two games.
Notable: The Ducks extended their winning streak at Matthew Knight Arena to 23 games. … That ties for the second-longest streak in program history, and also is the seventh-longest active streak in the country. … By coincidence, Oregon also has won 23 consecutive home openers.
Up Next: The Ducks host Florida A&M on Wednesday (8 p.m., Pac-12 Network).