Tennessee State and Oregon will meet Friday for the first time when the Ducks host the Tigers in Eugene, Ore.
Oregon (2-0) has wins over Georgia in Las Vegas and Montana at home while Tennessee State (3-0) has defeated Fisk and Kentucky State at home in Nashville, and on Wednesday night defeated Portland 75-65 in the first of two games in the Oregon this week.
The Ducks feature one of the most highly regarded big men in the nation, N’Faly Dante, who had 16 points and 21 rebounds in the season opener against Georgia on Nov. 6. Dante missed the Ducks’ home opening win over Montana on Nov. 10 due to knee soreness but could return for the Tennessee State game.
Oregon had just two turnovers against Montana, the fewest by the team since at least 1996-97, according to the school’s sports information department. The Ducks recorded a 6.5 assist-to-turnover ratio (13 assists, two turnovers) against Montana, the best ratio of that kind in program history.
The Ducks were voted by conference media to finish fourth in the final season of the full complement of Pac-12 schools before 10 colleges move to new conferences going forward.
“This time of year, we played a little more conservatively, making sure we got shots up. I was very pleased with that,” Ducks head coach Dana Altman said this week. “All in all, for a second time out, I thought we did a lot of good things.”
The Tigers have two preseason all-Ohio Valley Conference guards this season, Marcus Fitzgerald and Kinyon Hodges. Fitzgerald had 13 points and four assists in the Tigers’ win over Portland, and Hodges had 10 rebounds against the Pilots.
Tennessee State was 18-14 last season. The Tigers hit seven 3-pointers in the first half against Portland of the West Coast Conference, and led by as many as 18 points with five minutes left to play in the game.
Christian Brown led the way with 24 points.
Head coach Brian “Penny” Collins said earlier this season that he likes that he can count on a number of players to contribute positive minutes.
“We got a lot of guys this year, and I love that. I love the decision making,” he said.
–Field Level Media
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