Sat, 29 Jan 2022

Oregon got the bounce-back victory it needed on Monday, an 87-47 blowout of Montana at home after two lackluster performances in the Maui Invitational just prior to Thanksgiving.

Next up is UC Riverside, a program out of the Big West Conference, Wednesday night in Eugene, Ore.

The Ducks (4-3) made 12 straight shots at one point in the first half and posted a field goal percentage of 66 for the game in their win over Montana. It couldn't have come at a better time after they struggled to make shots in losses to Saint Mary's and Houston in Las Vegas, as well as against Brigham Young two weeks ago.

Against Montana, Will Richardson scored 18 points, De'Vion Harmon added 14 and center N'Faly Dante finished with 11 (including an emphatic dunk in the second half) and seven rebounds. Jacob Young added 10 points, six rebounds, four steals and three assists.

Richardson broke out of a slump by hitting 4 of 6 3-pointers.

"I thought we took a step in the right direction," Oregon coach Dana Altman said. "We've still got a long ways to go. We still are not a good basketball team. But it was a step in the right direction."

The feeling is that Oregon has turned things around, but UC Riverside might not be a pushover. The Highlanders (5-3) have wins at Arizona State and UTEP already this season. They lost to Saint Mary's 67-50 on Monday night in the Bay Area.

The Ducks and Highlanders have played each other once before, with Oregon taking a 108-67 win on Dec. 28, 2002, in Eugene.

Zyon Pullin's 12 points led UC Riverside against Saint Mary's. The Highlanders were outrebounded 36-21, but they trailed just 30-28 at halftime and led in both halves against a Gaels team that had defeated Oregon by 12 points after taking the lead for good a few minutes into the game.

"We talked before the game about how rebounding was going to tip the scales one way or the other, and they tipped their way," Highlanders coach Mike Magpayo said.

--Field Level Media

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