Oregon men’s basketball weekend recap: Dueling the desert duo

Oregon's Kwame Evans Jr., left, shoots a 3-point shot against Arizona State during the second half.
Oregon's Kwame Evans Jr., left, shoots a 3-point shot against Arizona State during the second half. / Chris Pietsch/The Register-Guard / USA

Walking away from last weekend on a two-game losing streak, Oregon looked to return to the top of the conference against two formidable opponents… Arizona State and No. 9 Arizona.

To start their week against the teams from the Grand Canyon State, the Ducks hosted the ASU Sun Devils on Thursday.

As center Nate Bittle made his return to the court, the Ducks’ defense looked to be in top form as they shut down the Sun Devils. Allowing Arizona State to score a measly 61 points, Oregon walked away from the game with a 19-point victory.

N’Faly Dante, just a few weeks back from surgery, played a total of 31 minutes and brought in 16 points as well as 6 rebounds.

Jermaine Couisnard racked up 19 points to lead the team in scoring and Keeshawn Barthelemy earned 12 points off the bench.

Oregon shot 50.9 percent from the field and 39.1 percent from beyond the arc, leading to a game total of 80 points for the Ducks.

Hoping to repeat their shooting success and dominant performance, Oregon hosted the No. 9 Arizona Wildcats on Saturday afternoon.

The Wildcats sat atop the Pac-12 rankings with a 14-5 overall record. However, Arizona has struggled in conference games, losing to Stanford, Washington State, and Oregon State.

Coming off the loss to the Beavers, Arizona was looking to exact their revenge against its second Oregon team of the week – the Ducks.

With just over three minutes remaining in the first half, the Wildcats were running away with the game. Arizona led by 7 points and held the Ducks to just 38 at halftime.

In what the commentators nicknamed the “clash of the titans” – due to big men Dante and Oumar Ballo bodying up in the paint – the Ducks seemed to miss the scoring memo.

When the clock showed less than 12 minutes remaining in the game, Arizona had extended their lead to 15 points and there was no looking back.

Despite Couisnard’s 20 points along with Dante and Kario Oquendo combining for 32 points, the Ducks simply could not keep up with the Wildcats.

At the end of 40 minutes, Oregon left Matt Knight Arena defeated, losing 87-78 to Arizona. This was the Wildcats' second-ever win in the Ducks’ home arena.

The Ducks will travel to Los Angeles next week to play against the USC Trojans on Feb. 1 and the UCLA Bruins on Feb. 3.

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