Oregon Basketball played their first game of the regular season on Wednesday night and Eugene Omoyuri was a bright spot on the night.
Missouri came to play from the start opening the game with a barrage of three-point shots. Many of them missed the mark, but enough hit to give the Tigers the lead early. It was announced before the game that Will Richardson would miss six weeks due to an injured thumb. He had surgery earlier this week. With Richardson, one of Oregon’s better players entering 2020 out for an extended period, someone will have to step up.
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On Wednesday night it was Omoruyi who helped Oregon close a 17 point first half gap to being down 11 points at the half against Missouri. He finished with a career-high 31 points for the game.
Chris Duarte picked up where he left off last season finishing strong with 23 points. Oregon shot 41 percent from the floor while Missouri was better at 46 percent. The Tigers attempted 31 three-point shots, hitting 9 of them on the night. Xavier Pinson led the way for Missouri with 22 points going 3 for 7 from three-point range.
The Ducks also missed another presence that could have helped calm them down. Payton Pritchard, now a Boston Celtic was not on the floor. After being a key player for Head Coach Dana Altman for four years, the team will need to find a calming personality on the floor.
Oregon was able to cut the lead to 5, twice down the stretch, but Missouri showed they were a veteran team by making key free throws to push their lead.
Altman did receive some good news early on Thursday. Transfer LJ Figuroa was granted eligibility for the 2020 season by the NCAA and is available immediately. This will add some depth to a team already down a player with the loss of Richardson.
Oregon will play just their second non-conference game of the season on Friday vs Seton Hall. The game will again be played in Omaha, Nebraska. Tipoff is set for 6 pm Pacific Time on Fox Sports 1.