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Oregon Basketball

Oregon Men Defeat the California Golden Bears 82-69

December 31, 2020

Jalen Terry was out for the game against Cal, with a UO spokesman only saying he was “unavailable tonight”. With the prior injuries to N’faly Dante and Will Richardson, Oregon was left even more shorthanded against the Golden Bears on New Year’s Eve.

Oregon started off the game small, with Omoruyi at the five spot in place of the injured Dante. LJ Figueroa may have turned his 3-point shooting woes around, hitting a three for the first points of the game. That started a 7-0 run for the Ducks to start the game, eventually stopping 2:30 into the game thanks to a Cal three-pointer. Oregon looked very cohesive early, getting buckets from 4 of their 5 starters only 7 minutes into the contest.

Despite playing the 5 spot, Omoruyi strayed from his norm, moving a lot off-ball around the arc, rather than staying in the paint. However, 9 minutes into the game Eugene was 0-2 on threes. Media timeout called with 8 minutes left in the first half, Oregon up 20-16.

Through 14 minutes and up 25-22, the Ducks had seen only four players score. Omoruyi with 10, Duarte with 5, Figueroa with 5, and Williams with 5.

With 5 minutes left in the first half, Oregon gave up the lead they’d held for the whole game on a Cal three-pointer to make it 27-26. Cal comes back one minute later with another three to widen their new lead, making it 30-26 going into timeout with 3 minutes left in the first half.

A three-pointer by Eric Williams Jr. helped Oregon narrow Cal’s lead with a minute left in the half, but a quick fast-break layup by the Golden Bears got 2 of those 3 points right back. However, an impressive running three by Aaron Estrada with the game clock running out sent the Ducks into halftime with the lead back. These were also Oregon’s only bench points of the entire first half.

Halftime score: 36-35 Ducks.

Oregon first half scoring leader: Eugene Omoruyi - 15 points, 6-9 from the field, 0-3 from three, 3-7 from the line. 3 steals as well.

Also of note: Omoruyi played 19 of 20 minutes in the first half. Impressive, but he was also noticeably gassed toward the end of the half.

Cal’s shooting from behind the arc was impressive in the first half, shooting 7-14 on threes.

LJ Figueroa scored the first points of the second half on a driving layup against a defender. Ducks up 38-35 with 19 minutes left in the game. Oregon’s scoring picked up coming out of halftime, but Cal managed to stay alongside the Ducks. 3 minutes into the second half, Oregon lost the lead, with Cal going up 44-43.

Within the span of about 30 seconds, Oregon converted two separate “and-ones”, and extended their lead to 6 with 12 minutes left. 55-49 Ducks.

Once again, Cal wouldn’t let Oregon pull away with a lead, hitting a three to make it 57-55 Ducks with 9:30 left. 

Chris Duarte hit back-to-back threes with 5 minutes left in the game to bring the Oregon lead to 9. That also made him the 4th Oregon player to score in the double-digits on the night. With 4 minutes left, Omoruyi had 26, Williams had 13, Duarte had 11, and Figueroa had 10.

Oregon waited until late in the second half to play their best basketball of the night and finally pulling away with a lead. With 2 minutes left they led by 15, 79-64.

Free throws from both teams in the last 2 minutes weren’t enough for Cal to comeback, and Oregon ended the game with a 13-point win.

Final score: 82-69 Oregon.

Oregon scoring leader: Eugene Omoruyi - 26 points, 10-14 from the field, 1-4 from three, 5-9 from the line. Finished with 5 steals and only 1 turnover in 36 minutes.

Great game from Eugene Omoruyi all around, and a great second half from Chris Duarte helped the Ducks close this one out for their 27th-straight home win. This was a close contest the whole night until about the last five minutes of the game. Despite the many lead changes, Oregon still managed to lead for 30 minutes, and only trailed for 7. This wasn’t the blowout for most of the game many might have expected heading into the matchup, but it’s important to note that the Ducks only had 8 players available for the game. Cal also played much better and much harder than some might have expected given their conference record. Oregon has areas to improve upon, but this isn’t the game to get discouraged over. Happy New Year’s everyone, and Go Ducks.

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