Oregon Avenges Loss to UC Irvine With NIT Win
Rivaldo Soares and Tyrone Williams each recorded his first career double-double as short-handed Oregon led wire-to-wire in an 84–58 win over UC Irvine in a first-round NIT matchup on Wednesday, March 15, in Eugene, Ore.
Nate Bittle scored 16 of his 17 points in the second half for the top-seeded Ducks (20–14), who won despite missing their top three scorers: N’Faly Dante (ankle), Jermaine Couisnard (shoulder) and Will Richardson (hip).
Soares had 21 points and 10 rebounds to help Oregon avenge a 69–56 loss to the Anteaters in Eugene on Nov. 11. Williams tallied 12 points and 11 rebounds.
Dawson Baker scored 16 points to lead UC Irvine (23–12), which shot 30 percent from the field and 4 of 23 (17.4 percent) from 3-point range. Devin Tillis had 10 points and 11 rebounds.
UC Irvine guard DJ Davis, who made six 3-pointers and scored 24 points in the earlier win over Oregon, was held to nine points in the rematch. He shot 3 of 13 from the field, including 3 of 7 from beyond the arc.
Quincy Guerrier and Kel’el Ware each had seven points and eight rebounds for Oregon, which extended its record to a program-record 13 straight seasons with 20 or more wins.
The Ducks led by 13 at intermission and maintained a double-digit advantage throughout the second half.
The Anteaters pulled within 46–36 with 15 minutes remaining before the Ducks responded with an 18–9 run. Oregon shot 46.9 percent from the field in the second half and outscored UC Irvine 49–36.
Oregon jumped to a 9–2 lead and used a 12–0 run to move ahead 28–14 with 7:25 left in the first half. Soares scored 13 points in the half to lead all scorers.
UC Irvine, which entered the contest shooting 38.4 percent from 3-point range, trailed 35–22 at the half after shooting 1 of 12 (8 percent) from beyond the arc.
Oregon finished the game shooting 40.3 percent from the field and 12 of 28 (42.9 percent) from 3-point range.
The Ducks will face UCF in the NIT’s second round this weekend.