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Five Straight For UO Men

Dec 17, 2020

Oregon-San Francisco Box Score | Boxscore

EUGENE, Ore. — Stifling defense to open the second half helped Oregon jump out to a 21-point lead Thursday over San Francisco, and allowed the Ducks to survive a late rally by the Dons for a 74-64 victory in Matthew Knight Arena.

Oregon opened the second half with an 11-0 run to lead 52-31, as USF went the first 5:45 of the half without scoring. The Dons found some offensive rhythm to claw back, and turnovers by the Ducks on five straight possessions helped USF rally within 70-64 before Oregon steadied itself to win.

"Very disappointed in some of those plays," UO coach Dana Altman said. "But San Francisco is a good team. We knew we were going to have our hands full. We knew it would be a tough game, and I thought for the most part defensively we did a lot of good things. …

"I just told the fellas I thought we took a step today in the right direction."

How It Happened: The game was tight early, with Eric Williams Jr. putting Oregon up 8-6 on a steal and layin moments into the game. But USF quickly answered, sparking a 7-0 run that ended with two second-chance points. Oregon's defense and rebounding both were lacking at that point, and senior guard Amauri Hardy got after his teammates while USF was completing a three-point play to go up 16-9.

"We definitely need to come out with more intensity to start games," Hardy said. "I just tried to bring that energy and that intensity for my team by talking, by playing good defense — by trying to do the intangibles."

Hardy was assertive on the offensive end as well to lead his team back. He completed a three-point of his own to get Oregon within 16-14, and USF's last lead was 18-16 before Hardy tied it. The Ducks went ahead for good on a free throw by LJ Figueroa, part of a 10-0 run for a 24-18 lead. Williams got the lead to double digits for the first time at 33-22 with another steal and layin, and Chris Duarte hit a three for a 41-28 lead just before halftime.

After the break, USF missed its first 10 shots, and Oregon put together an 11-0 run capped by a basket from Eugene Omoruyi. USF fought back and was within 64-42 when Omoruyi hit a three-pointer, and the lead was 15 again at 70-55 after two free throws from Hardy. That's when Oregon's flurry of turnovers began, and USF scored nine straight to get within 70-64.

Who Stood Out: Four Ducks scored in double figures, led by Omoruyi with 19 points. Williams had 16 points and a team-high six rebounds, along with two steals. Duarte and Hardy each finished with 11 points.

What It Means: San Francisco's late rally forced the Ducks to bow their backs and stem the tide, and Oregon's veterans did exactly that to hold off the Dons. Altman said fatigue may have been an issue during the late stretch of turnovers.

"I've got to use my bench more," Altman said. "That's on me. I think they got tired at the end."

Notable: N'Faly Dante was limited to 11 minutes by an apparent injury. Altman said postgame he was moving around OK. … Williams has had at least 11 points and six rebounds in all six games, one of eight players nationally to do so six times this season. … The Ducks have used the same starting lineup in all six games so far. …. Transfer Aaron Estrada (above) made his UO debut and played two minutes. Estrada was originally slated to sit out this season as a transfer, before the NCAA ruled this week that transfers this season could be immediately eligible.

Up Next: The Ducks host Portland on Saturday (noon, Pac-12 Network).