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Oregon dumps UC Irvine 84-58 in first round of NIT

By Columbian news services
Published: March 15, 2023, 11:03pm

EUGENE, Ore. — Rivaldo Soares scored a game-high 21 points to go with 10 rebounds as Oregon beat UC Irvine 84-58 in the first round of the NIT on Wednesday night.

A 12-0 run in the first half turned a two-point game into a 28-14 advantage and helped the Ducks (20-14) pull away for the win as they led wire-to-wire.

Nate Bittle scored 17 points, and Tyrone Williams also had a double-double with 12 points and 11 rebounds for Oregon, which was playing without injured starters Will Richardson, N’Faly Dante and Jermaine Couisnard.

Oregon coach Dana Altman said Richardson will remain sidelined through the rest of the postseason, but Dante and Couisnard could potentially return if their rehab progresses to the point they’re cleared by team medical staff.

UC Irvine (23-12) was led in scoring by Dawson Baker’s 16 points, and a double-double from Devin Tillis with 10 points and 11 rebounds.

Next for Oregon, which is one of four No. 1 seeds in the NIT, is a second-round matchup against Central Florida at 4:30 p.m. Sunday at Eugene. UCF (19-14) beat No. 4 seed Florida 67-49 on Wednesday at Gainesville, Fla.

OREGON 84, UC IRVINE 58

UC IRVINE (23-11) — Tillis 4-8 2-2 10, Leuchten 3-8 1-1 7, Baker 7-16 1-1 16, Crockrell 2-7 0-0 4, Davis 3-13 0-0 9, Hohn 0-5 0-0 0, Keeler 0-5 1-2 1, J.Butler 0-5 0-0 0, Henry 2-5 1-2 5, Ujadughele 0-2 0-0 0, Welling 1-3 0-0 2, Chol 0-1 0-0 0, Butkus 1-1 0-0 2, Hutchison 1-1 0-0 2. Totals 24-80 6-8 58.

OREGON (19-14) — Guerrier 3-8 0-2 7, Wur 2-7 3-4 7, Bittle 5-10 4-6 17, Barthelemy 2-12 0-0 6, Soares 7-14 5-7 21, Williams 3-6 5-9 12, Ware 3-7 0-0 7, Reichle 1-1 1-2 4, Cooper 1-2 0-0 3, Parris 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 27-67 18-30 84.

Halftime—Oregon 35-22. 3-Point Goals—UC Irvine 4-23 (Davis 3-7, Baker 1-5, Henry 0-1, Leuchten 0-2, Tillis 0-2, J.Butler 0-3, Hohn 0-3), Oregon 12-28 (Bittle 3-5, Soares 2-4, Barthelemy 2-7, Cooper 1-1, Reichle 1-1, Williams 1-1, Ware 1-2, Guerrier 1-5, Wur 0-2). Rebounds—UC Irvine 37 (Tillis 11), Oregon 49 (Williams 11). Assists—UC Irvine 11 (Crockrell 6), Oregon 16 (Barthelemy 5). Total Fouls—UC Irvine 22, Oregon 11.

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