The odds were stacked against them going into the game, with the Oregon Ducks having to play the first game of the NIT without three starters: Will Richardson, N’Faly Dante, and Jermaine Couisnard.
On top of that, they were playing UC Irvine, a team that gave them one of their worst losses of the season back in December. After missing out on the NCAA Tournament, with so many things working against you, it would have been easy for the Ducks to come out flat and not work hard to advance. Instead, they dispatched with the Anteaters easily at Matthew Knight Arena.
It was an opportunity for some guys lower on the depth chart to get good run and show what they’re capable of. Guys like Rivaldo Soares and Tyrone Williams showed out, posting their first career double-doubles with the Ducks, and some late-game heroics from Nate Bittle brought down the house.
In the end, it led to a blowout victory and moved the Ducks on to the second round of the NIT. Here’s how it all went down.
Final Score: Oregon Ducks 84, UC Irvine 58
Oregon head coach Dana Altman reacts during the first half as the Oregon Ducks take on UC Irvine in their NIT opener Wednesday, March 15, 2023, at Matthew Knight Arena in Eugene, Ore.
Ncaa Basketball Oregon Men S Basketball Nit Opener Uc Irvine At Oregon
Keys to the game
The Ducks got off to a hot start offensively, with Rivaldo Soares and Keeshawn Barthelemy knocking down threes in the opening minutes.
Eventually, Oregon’s lack of starting-caliber players caught up to them, and UCI was able to get back into the game and make it a 16-14 Oregon lead with under 10 minutes left. Over the next minute, the Ducks went on a quick 10-0 run that put them up by 12.
The Ducks maintained a solid lead throughout most of the half, going into the break up 35-22. They were helped by the fact that UCI was as cold as you could imagine from the floor, shooting just 9-for-45 (20%) FG and 1-for-12 (8%) from 3FG.
UC Irvine started to turn it on a little bit in the second half and was able…
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Author : Ducks Wire
Publish date : 2023-03-16 05:09:59
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