GAMEDAY Mens Basketball

Missouri 83, Oregon 75

OMAHA, Neb. - Xavier Pinson scored 19 of his 22 points in the second half and Missouri overcame a mid-game lull and late Oregon flurry to beat the No. 21 Ducks 83-75.

Mark Smith scored 13 of his 15 points in the first half as Missouri (2-0) built a 17-point lead, but Chris Duarte scored eight straight points to get the Ducks within five in the final minute.

Eugene Omoruyi set career highs with 31 points and 11 rebounds in his first game for the Ducks (0-1) since transferring from Rutgers. While Missouri missed 15 shots in a row spanning the halves, Omoruyi scored 12 straight points to lead Oregon's push to get within single digits.

Pinson and Javon Pickett, who had 11 of his 13 points in the second half, helped Missouri rebuild the lead before the Ducks made it close late.

The game was played in Omaha because of scheduling problems for both teams caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Oregon coach Dana Altman was able to use his connections at Creighton to set up games with the Tigers and Seton Hall on Friday at CHI Health Center.

Altman coached at Creighton for 16 years before going to Oregon and he remains close friends with athletic director Bruce Rasmussen, who served as a middleman with arena officials.

The Ducks were without junior point guard Will Richardson, who had surgery on his left thumb Wednesday and will be out at least six weeks. He's Oregon's most experienced player and was set to take the place of Payton Pritchard, the 2019-20 Pac-12 player of the year and a first-round NBA draft pick by the Boston Celtics.

UNLV transfer Amauri Hardy opened the game at point guard, and two other transfers, Omoruyi and Eric Williams Jr. from Duquesne, also started for the Ducks.

The Tigers played with urgency on both ends of the floor in the empty arena. They forced early turnovers that were turned into easy run-out baskets.

The 6-foot-10, 260-pound Jeremiah Tilmon Jr. was a load inside and created shots on the perimeter for Smith, who made three 3-pointers during a 32-12 run that put Missouri ahead 39-22.


Associated Press

December 2, 2020