It was a game that Oregon basketball waited a while to have at home. Michigan came to Eugene on a promise from several seasons ago. The pandemic did not help, but finally, the Wolverines returned the favor of their home and home contract with Oregon. It was a back-and-forth battle that saw Oregon come away with the win in overtime, 86-83.
Of course, the game was scheduled years before Oregon would join the Big Ten Conference. The Ducks visited Michigan in 2019. It took till 2023 for them to return the favor. It was a win that could have some big ramifications for the NCAA Tournament in March.
The Ducks entered the game at 4-2 on the season. Head Coach Dana Altman has seen key players go down with injuries over the first six games. Both centers N’Faly Dante and Nate Bittle are out for extended periods as the season continues. Bittle is likely out for the next month. Dante could be up to two months.
Oregon started the game hitting 50 percent from the floor and better than 80 percent from three-point range. Shot selection was key early on and the confidence was there. The Ducks scored 18 points off of 16 Michigan turnovers. The Ducks had 9 turnovers for the game.
Most of the game was played within two possessions. Neither Oregon nor Michigan had much of an opportunity to pull away, especially down the stretch and as the game went into overtime. The Ducks were outrebounded by 10 in the first half and ended the game closing the game to seven, 38 to 31 in favor of the Wolverines.
Freshman Jackson Shelstad finished with 14 points in his first career start and third career game and included the game-winning three with just under two seconds remaining. Four players for Oregon scored in double figures. Brennan Rigsby had 19 points including his three shots from three-point range.
Both teams hit 67 percent of their free throws. Jermaine Couisnard had an opportunity to extend the Ducks lead in the second half. He missed a key shot but was ultimately redeemed.
Oregon continues its non-conference schedule and returns to Matthew Knight Arena to host UTEP on Saturday at 6 pm Pacific Time.
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