Oregon pulls away to beat Washington State in Pac-12 opener
N’Faly Dante matched his career high with 22 points and Will Richardson added 17 as host Oregon drew clear in the second half for a 74-60 win over Washington State in the Pac-12 opener for both teams in Eugene on Thursday.
Quincy Guerrier scored 12 points and Rivaldo Soares had eight points and seven assists for Oregon (4-4), which outscored the Cougars 42-28 in the second half.
Mouhamed Gueye scored a season-high 19 points to lead Washington State (3-3), while TJ Bamba had 14. The Cougars shot 3 of 14 (21.4 percent) from 3-point range after entering play averaging 11.2 made 3-pointers per game.
Oregon broke open a close game and established control midway through the second half. Dante’s dunk capped a 10-2 run and put the Ducks ahead 55-48 lead with 9:21 remaining.
Dante, who battled early foul trouble before scoring 16 points in the second half, dunked again with 3:59 left to give the Ducks a commanding 68-54 lead.
Washington State committed a season-high 17 turnovers and recorded just five assists without second-leading scorer Jabe Mullins, who sat out with a knee injury.
Oregon won despite shooting 3 of 18 (16.7 percent) from 3-point range. The Ducks shot 51.6 percent from the field, and have won two straight following a three-game losing streak.
Neither team was able to gain separation in the first half, which ended in a 32-32 tie. Gueye scored 17 points to lead all scorers.
Washington State shot just 2 of 8 (25 percent) from beyond the arc in the first half after making a school-record 19 3-pointers in a 96-54 rout of Detroit Mercy last Friday.
Richardson scored nine points before intermission for Oregon, which shot 53.8 percent for the half, including 1 of 5 from 3-point range.
Oregon guard Brennan Rigsby, who missed the team’s first seven games due to a high ankle sprain, made his Ducks debut and had two points and six rebounds in 23 minutes.
–Field Level Media