Quincy Guerrier scored 16 points and Oregon made 7 of 8 free throws down the stretch to edge Colorado 75-69 on Thursday in Pac-12 action at Eugene, Ore.
Oregon got the job done with its top big man, N’Faly Dante, ruled out just before the game started due to a left knee injury. Dante’s scoring, rebounding and interior defense were missed, but the Ducks got a key performance from sophomore Nate Bittle, who got the start in place of Dante.
Bittle matched his career high with 11 points while setting career highs with 13 rebounds, four blocked shots and 30 minutes. Keeshawn Barthelemy, a transfer from Colorado, scored 13 points against his former teammates.
The Ducks (12-9, 6-4 Pac-12) kept the Buffaloes from a comeback win, even after Tristan da Silva hit a 3-pointer with 19 seconds to play to make it a four-point game. Oregon avenged a 27-point loss at Colorado on Jan. 5.
Colorado (12-10, 4-7) got a game-high 23 points from da Silva, while Nique Clifford put up 17 points.
The Ducks won for the third time in four games while the Buffaloes fell for the fourth time in five games.
Oregon took an 11-point lead twice in the second half, 44-33 with 15:46 to play and 57-46 at the 11:32 mark after a 3-pointer from Barthelemy. However, the Buffaloes then switched to a backcourt trap defense and went on a 9-0 run as the Ducks committed five turnovers over three minutes.
Clifford had a 3-pointer and a dunk in that stretch. Oregon went almost four minutes without scoring as Colorado turned it into a tight game.
Free throws from Rivaldo Soares and Will Richardson finally ended the drought for Oregon. The Ducks made a basket after a long stretch without a field goal when Guerrier dunked off a feed from Richardson for a 63-55 lead with 6:36 to go.
The Buffaloes were up by as many as four points in the first half, but the Ducks used an 8-0 run to take the lead and never trailed again. Barthelemy’s trey gave the Ducks 30-24 lead with 1:17 to go in the half, and Jermaine Couisnard’s layup with three seconds to go sent Oregon to halftime with a 32-26 lead.
Da Silva made pulled Colorado within 63-62 with a 3-pointer, but Guerrier rattled in a trey as the shot clock expired and followed a miss with a layup to put Oregon up 68-62 with 3:35 left.
–Field Level Media