Skip to main content

Ducks Renew Rivalry with Wildcats

Feb 12, 2021

Game 16 Arizona

Oregon and Arizona meet in one of the most entertaining rivalries of recent years Saturday at 11 a.m. PT in Tucson (ESPN2).

• 1 – Eight of the last 10 games between the Ducks and Wildcats have been decided by seven points or less and four of those games have gone to overtime. Oregon holds an 8-2 series edge in the last 10 meetings.
• 2 – With one exception, over the last six years, either Oregon or Arizona has won the Pac-12 regular season and the conference tournament championship.
• 3 – Thursday's game at Arizona State was the first time this season that Oregon's top five scorers –Chris Duarte, Eugene Omoruyi, Will Richardson, LJ Figueroa and Eric Williams Jr. – all played in the same game.
• 4 –Chris Duarte is one of just five players in the nation averaging at least 17.0 points and 2.0 steals per game while shooting 50 percent from the field.
• 5 – Eugene Omoruyi has scored in double figures in 14-of-15 games this season. He is fifth in the Pac-12 in scoring at 17.7 points per game.
• BENCH – Oregon leads the Pac-12 in steals (7.9 per game) and three-point field goals (8.3 per game).
• BENCH – Under Dana Altman, Oregon has won nearly 90 percent of its games (184-21) when holding opponents below 70 points.
• BENCH – Dana Altman has been named the coach of the year of four different Division I conferences: Southern Conference (1990, Marshall), Big Eight (1993, Kansas State), Missouri Valley (twice, Creighton) and the Pac-12 (three times, Oregon).

Dec. 31 against California, Eric Williams Jr. became the third active Duck to reach 1,000 points as a collegian. He joined Amauri Hardy and LJ Figueroa, who himself reached 1,000 career points Dec. 19 versus Portland. With 982 points coming into Saturday's game at Arizona, Eugene Omoruyi is also on pace to join that club soon. When Omoruyi hits that plateau, Oregon will join Ole Miss as the only two programs in the country with four active 1,000-point scorers.

The last six seasons, Oregon and Arizona have combined to win 10-of-11 Pac-12 regular season and tournament championships. Washington (2019 regular season) is the only other program to claim a title during that span.

Year    Regular Season    Tournament
2015    Arizona                    Arizona
2016    Oregon                    Oregon
2017    Oregon & Arizona    Arizona
2018    Arizona                    Arizona
2019    Washington             Oregon
2020    Oregon            No Tournament

After scoring 18 points with three steals and four three-pointers Thursday at Arizona State, Chris Duarte is one of only five Division I players nationally averaging at least 17.0 points and 2.0 steals per game while shooting at least 50 percent from the field. In the five games prior to his early second-half injury Feb. 4 versus Washington State, the Pac-12 Player of the Year candidate averaged 23.0 points 4.2 rebounds, 3.2 steals and 1.2 blocks per game while hitting 57.7 percent from the field (41-of-71) and 50 percent from three-point range (19-of-38). For good measure, he was also 14-of-16 (87.5 percent) at the free throw line.

Preseason all-Pac-12 first team selection Will Richardson saw his first action of the season Feb. 4 against Washington State and has scored in double figures in every game since his return. He had 10 points against the Cougars, 19 points against Washington (2-6) and 15 Thursday at Arizona State. He's also averaging more than four assists per game since his return. Richardson missed the first 12 games of the year after suffering a thumb injury just prior to Oregon's season opener on Dec. 2. He led the Pac-12 in three-point field goal shooting last season at 46.9 percent (38-of-81). The junior from Hinesville, Ga., was at his best late in the season when he scored in double figures in nine of the last 11 games of 2019-20. He averaged 14.2 points per game in that span and hit 54.5 percent from three-point range (18-of-33).

Senior forward Eugene Omoruyi is the only Duck to start all 15 games this season and has scored in double figures in 14 of those 15 contests. He's coming off an impressive weekend: 21 points and seven rebounds Feb. 4 against Washington State and 25 points and three steals Feb. 6 versus Washington. Omoruyi had a double-double, 18 points and 10 rebounds, Thursday night at Arizona State. Omoruyi was nearly unstoppable in the paint Dec. 31 versus California, making nine-of-10 field goal attempts in the lane, finishing with 26 points and a career-high five steals. He had 15 points and a season-high five assists Jan. 2 against Stanford and 18 points Jan. 7 at Colorado. He has been Oregon's leading scorer 10 times.

Eric Williams Jr. returned to the lineup Thursday night Arizona State after missing the previous two games due to COVID-19 protocols. He had nine rebounds in 15 minutes. It was the 11th time this season that Williams Jr. has grabbed at least six rebounds. Williams Jr. ranks seventh in the Pac-12 at 6.5 rebounds per game.

Senior guard Chris Duarte was named to the Jerry West Shooting Guard of the Year Award Top 10 list by the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. He was the only Pac-12 player among the Jerry West Award final 10. Duarte is fourth in the Pac-12 in scoring at 17.8 points per game and leads the league in both steals at 2.3 per game (19th nationally) and three-pointers made at 2.8 per game. He is ranked among the Pac-12's top 10 in seven different statistical categories. Duarte is also 10th nationally in three-point field goal percentage (.456).

The Ducks are 11-2 in games in which senior transfer LJ Figueroa plays. He scored a season-high 16 points Thursday at Arizona State. Figueroa had his team-leading third double-double of the season Feb. 4 against Washington State (12 points, 11 rebounds). It was the last of six straight games scoring in double figures. That streak that dated back to Dec. 19 against Portland (15) and included California (11), Stanford (13), Colorado (10), Utah (15) and WSU. Jan. 2 against Stanford, it was his rebound dunk to tie the game at 41-41 with 12:43 to go that seemed to spark the Ducks; Oregon outscored Stanford 32-15 the rest of the way. Ranking sixth in the Pac-12 in rebounds (6.8 per game), Figueroa has led Oregon in rebounding seven times this season, steals twice and blocks once. Figueroa missed Oregon's season-opening Dec. 2 loss to Missouri before the NCAA approved his transfer waiver on Dec. 3. As a junior in 2019-20, Figueroa led St. John's in scoring at 14.5 points per game. The Lawrence, Mass., native paced the Big East in steals at 1.9 per game last season.

After opening the year with 13 turnovers in the first six games, Amauri Hardy has turned the ball over just 10 times in the last nine games. During that span, his assist-to-turnover ratio is 3.2-to-1. Hardy is fifth in the Pac-12 in assists-to-turnover ratio at 2.35-to-1.