No. 21 Oregon men's basketball suffers blowout loss at home to unranked UC Irvine

No. 21 Oregon men’s basketball suffers blowout loss at home to unranked UC Irvine

Eugene, Ore. – It was a night the Ducks will want to forget as soon as they leave the building and a night Oregon’s coaching staff won’t let their players forget for the rest of the season. The No. 21 ranked Oregon Ducks didn’t just lose a home game against visiting UC Irvine Friday night at Matthew Knight Arena. An Oregon roster made up of five, and four-star recruits were not even competitive against low-major Irvine out of the Big West.

The Ducks lost to the Anteaters 69-46 to drop to 1-1 on the season. The loss will undoubtedly go down as one of the worst in the Dana Altman era.

“We got beat in every facet of the game. Hustle, Toughness. We had a number of practices that resembled that,” said Oregon head coach Dana Altman. “I was fearful that at some point in time that would come. They were the aggressor right from the start.

“Didn’t shoot it well, had some good looks, and then defensively, we gave their best three-point shooter 14 threes. I am sure he was disappointed he only made six. It was just a poor mental effort.

“I wish I had something positive to say. I am really disappointed, the guys are disappointed. We got punched right from the start.”

UC Irvine’s guards were a threat on both ends of the floor. On defense, they suffocated the Duck offense with deflections, strips, and steals. The Ducks committed 15 turnovers in the loss. On offense, UC Irvine’s DJ Davis was the best player on the floor, scoring 24 points on 8-of-17 shooting from the floor. He made six of his 14 3-point shots.

Oregon’s offense could never get itself going in the game and large part of that was turnovers. The Ducks committed five turnovers in the first five minutes of the game, multiple turnovers in the first few minutes of the second half, and 15 turnovers in the game. Those turnovers gave the Anteaters the extra possessions they needed to turn a close game into a blowout. UC Irvine scored 25 points off Oregon’s turnovers.

The Ducks had their chances to keep the game somewhat close by getting to the free throw line 28 times, but even free throws were tough to make for the Ducks. Oregon shot just 18-of-28 from the line.

Oregon’s N’Faly Dante led the Ducks on both ends of the floor, finishing with 20 points, nine rebounds, and four blocks. Nate Bittle added 10 points, and six rebounds off the bench.

As a team, the Ducks shot just 33 percent from the floor. UC Irvine shot 38 percent from the floor.

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