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Oregon opens Pac-12 play with win over USC

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Kwame Evans Jr. scored a career-high 22 points and grabbed eight rebounds, Jackson Shelstad added a career-high 21 points, and Oregon led nearly wire to wire en route to an 82-74 defeat of visiting Southern California in the Pac-12 Conference opener for both teams on Thursday in Eugene, Ore.

The Ducks (9-3, 1-0 Pac-12) went on a 12-0 run less than five minutes into the league-opening tilt, taking a lead they never relinquished.

Oregon’s advantage grew to 20 points in the first half, with the Ducks shooting 14 of 31, including 6 of 15 from 3-point range, before intermission.

Shelstad scored 12 points on 5-of-7 shooting over the opening 20 minutes.

Oregon shot 24 of 52 (46 percent) in the game, including 8 of 20 from beyond the arc, and also hit 26 of 32 at the free-throw line.

USC (6-6, 0-1) chipped away at the deficit, opening the second half on a 14-3 run to pull within six points. Joshua Morgan scored consecutive baskets to cap the stretch, part of his season-high 14-point performance.

Morgan shot 6 of 7 and snared a team-high seven rebounds. DJ Rodman matched Morgan with a team-high 14 points. Boogie Ellis shot 3 of 9 from 3-point distance, part of USC’s 8-of-24 effort from beyond the arc.

Ellis’ 3-point shot with 39 seconds remaining pulled the Trojans to within four points, the closest margin since the game’s opening minutes.

USC could bridge the gap no more.

Ellis and Isaiah Collier each scored 11 points in the loss. Kobe Johnson scored seven points and dished nine assists. Bronny James made a 3-pointer as part of his five-point effort off the bench.

Kario Oquendo scored 15 points and grabbed five rebounds off the bench for Oregon. Jermaine Couisnard added 13 points and passed for a team-high three assists.

–Field Level Media

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