The Oregon Ducks (3-0) beat the Memphis Tigers (2-1) 82-74 at the Moda Center in Portland, Oregon on Tuesday, November 12th. The game was part of Phil Knight’s “PK80” series and was followed by Oregon State vs Oklahoma.
Before the game all the talk was about Memphis’ 7’1” freshman center James Wiseman, who was ruled ineligible by the NCAA last Friday. Wiseman, along with longtime and current head coach Penny Hardaway are caught up in an NCAA scandal together. Wiseman played for the Tigers over the weekend after an ongoing legal dispute, and he started and played, finishing with 14 points and 11 rebounds. However, the freshman phenom was forced to the bench after picking up two fouls in the first five minutes.
The Ducks controlled the game early on, causing havoc and forcing miscues with head coach Dana Altman’s hybrid-zone defense. They got a big boost when Wiseman left for the bench, building a double-digit lead.
Oregon’s Chris Duarte left the game fifteen minutes in after bumping knees with a Memphis player. The Tigers immediately forced multiple Oregon turnovers with a full-court press. Shakur Juiston broke the Tigers’ run with an and-one putback off his own miss and the Ducks soon vaulted themselves back in front.
Both Duarte and Wiseman returned for the start of the second half.
The Ducks took a 41-35 lead going into halftime. Starting guard Anthony Mathis was leading the way with nine points for the Ducks (3-5 from three), while Memphis struggled to score without Wiseman on the floor. The biggest disparity between the two teams, as ESPN’s Jay Bilas noticed, was the points off turnovers category—Memphis racked up 20, while Oregon had only four.
The first few minutes of the second half made for some great entertainment. Memphis’ Lester Quinones brought the energy and gave Memphis the lead with a three, although most of the attention was still focused on his incredibly short shorts.
One big question coming into the game was the status of Ducks starting center Francis Okoro, who was hit by a car before the game against Boise State last week. Okoro started and finished with seven points and nine boards.
The Ducks seemed mostly in control, holding a single-digit lead for the bulk of the second half. Memphis hung in the game, though, and were only down by five before Pritchard hit a massive stepback three out of a timeout with 1:36 remaining. Memphis never climbed back into touching distance.
Notable performers for the Ducks include Payton Pritchard (17pts/4reb/5ast on 5-12 shooting) and Shakur Juiston (17pts/10reb on 8-15). Mathis added 12 points on 4-6 shooting (all from behind the arc).
Oregon will take on Texas Arlington at Matthew Knight Arena this Sunday.