Dana Altman and the Oregon Ducks suffered their third consecutive loss of the season, fighting valiantly but ultimately losing 74-70 to the Michigan State Spartans in the second round of the PK85 Invitational on Friday evening.
Will Richardson had an outstanding night for the Ducks, dropping 28 points on 10-21 shooting, while adding eight assists, five rebounds, and two steals.
N’Faly Dante left the game early while undergoing concussion protocol, pushing freshman Kel’el Ware into a bigger role. Ware finished with 17 points and nine rebounds, but he went just 2-9 from beyond the arc.
Oregon’s bench scoring was nearly non-existent, with just a Lok Wur three pointer keeping them from getting shut out as a unit.
The Ducks will take part in the seventh place contest against a banged up and underperforming Villanova squad on Sunday, giving Altman and his team a chance to pick up a nice win to close out the weekend.
Final Score: Michigan State 74, Oregon 70
Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports
Keys to the Game
Mandatory Credit: Troy Wayrynen-USA TODAY Sports
Oregon was once again too reliant on the three ball, attempting 32 shots from deep. They knocked 10 of them down, good for 31.3%. Meanwhile, the lack of attempts around the rim led to just eight free throw attempts on the night, knocking down six of them.
Depth is a significant issue for the Ducks right now, as evidenced by just three points from the bench. As a unit they went 1-8 from the field.
Michigan State was excellent at taking care of the basketball, totaling 20 assists compared to just eight turnovers. While they struggled to shoot, their ball security ultimately helped lead them to victory.
Stats to Know
(Photo by Soobum Im/Getty Images)
Kel’el Ware was red hot out of the gate, knocking down two of his first three three point attempts, but he cooled off quite a bit after that and ultimately finished with 17 points and nine rebounds, going 7-17 from the field and 2-9 from deep.
Will Richardson had a huge game for the Ducks, dropping 28 points with eight assist and five rebounds. It was his best game of the season, and the Ducks will need more games like this if they want to stay competitive in the Pac-12.
Richardson and Ware combined for 45 of Oregon’s 70 points, with only one other scorer in double figures. Rivaldo Soares was third with 10 points, while N’Faly Dante had just four points – leaving early after entering concussion protocol.
Mandatory Credit: Kyle Ross-USA TODAY Sports
Somewhat surprisingly, the Oregon Ducks will play the Villanova Wildcats in the seventh place consolation game on Sunday – a testament to how wacky this year’s event has gone for some of the traditionally dominant basketball programs in the country.