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Mar 16, 2023 2:29 am

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 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.

–Field Level Media

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