Oregon basketball: Will Richardson leads Ducks to win over Oregon State

It’s been a rough start to the 2022-23 season for the Oregon basketball team, but a win over a rival could help to right the ship.

This game was not pretty. Both the Ducks and Beavers shot under 50 percent and the Ducks were just 6 of 22 from three-point range, but senior guard Will Richardson stepped up and finished with 22 points in a key win for Oregon basketball.

For a team desperately needing a win following a not-so-spectacular showing during the final game of their non-conference schedule — a loss to Utah Valley — the win was an excellent way to close out 2022. The strength and experience of this team come from one player, Will Richardson.

Richardson carries five seasons of experience with him. He is playing his sixth year with Oregon basketball under Head Coach Dana Altman. This has not been an easy season so far for a team with high expectations. Richardson has been the constant, while the cast of players Altman has to support him have been bitten by the injury bug all season.

Aside from that, Altman finds his team above .500 entering 2023 at 8-6 and 7-3 inside the friendly confines of Matthew Knight Arena. While a few more wins would look good for the postseason outlook, Altman always finds a way to get his players in tune at the right time.

The 77-68 win against rival Oregon State is a good start. The Beavers were just 1 of 7 from the field to close out the game, with the Ducks’ defense stepping up when they needed to.

In a game that saw seven lead changes, Oregon had 14 assists to go with 40 points in the paint to Oregon State’s 30. Oregon was also solid on defense. Quincy Guerrier had two blocks, and Richardson added two steals to the effort. Both teams had a combined 15 turnovers for the game. The Ducks capitalized turning 7 Beavers turnovers into 14 points.

Oregon now hits the road to face a Colorado team with a similar record to the Ducks at 9-6. The Buffaloes are 1-3 in Pac-12 play so far. Oregon is averaging 70 points per game with Colorado putting up 76 points per game. The Buffaloes also have wins over several top 25 opponents this season including Tennessee and Texas A&M.

Oregon visits Colorado before a game against Utah this weekend. The Ducks and Buffs meet on Thursday at 6 pm Pacific Time on ESPN2 or ESPNU.

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