Fri, 29 Jan 2021

No. 21 Oregon falls to Missouri in season debut

Field Level Media
03 Dec 2020, 14:40 GMT+10

Xavier Pinson scored 22 points, 19 of them in the second half, as Missouri upset No. 21 Oregon 83-75 on Wednesday in Omaha, Neb.

The nonconference game was the Ducks' season debut.

Mark Smith added 15 points for the Tigers (2-0), including two key free throws in the final minute, and Jeremiah Tilmon contributed 11 points and nine rebounds. Javon Pickett produced 13 points and Dru Smith scored 11.

Eugene Omoruyi, a Rutgers transfer, made a spectacular debut for Oregon, pouring in 31 points and grabbing 11 rebounds. Chris Duarte scored 22 points and Eric Williams Jr. had 13 points and nine rebounds.

The Ducks played without Will Richardson, who underwent left thumb surgery Wednesday and will miss six weeks.

Oregon also was missing transfers LJ Figueroa (St. John's) and Aaron Estrada (Saint Peter's), who are waiting for the NCAA to rule on their request for 2020-21 eligibility.

Oregon was supposed to open the season against Eastern Washington on Nov. 25, but the Eagles canceled due to a positive COVID-19 test. Then the Ducks hoped to play Portland State, but that game never came off.

Meanwhile, Missouri opened its season with a 91-64 victory over Oral Roberts on Nov. 25, so the Tigers had the early advantage while the Ducks got organized. With Mark Smith hitting two 3-point jumpers over the Oregon zone, the Tigers raced to an early 21-12 with a 14-2 run.

The Ducks forced back-to-back turnovers by Pinson before Duarte's 3-point jumper capped a 7-0 Oregon burst. But Missouri countered with an 18-3 surge to build a 39-22 margin.

Duarte stopped that Tigers run with another 3-point jumper. Missouri went stone cold -- missing its last nine shots of the first half -- and the Ducks cut their deficit to 42-31.

Omoruyi scored the first six points of the second half after scoring the last six points of the first half as the game's momentum shifted.

The Tigers' slump extended to 15 consecutive misses as Oregon got within 42-37. Finally Pinson hit a deep 3-pointer to break the spell and trigger a 17-6 Missouri surge.

Duarte's trey with 45 seconds left cut the Missouri lead to 76-71, but the Ducks were unable to get closer.

--Field Level Media

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