December 19, 2019 / 6:19 AM / a month ago

No. 8 Oregon manhandles Montana

EditorsNote: Fixed Pritchard’s assist/rebound totals in 4th graf

Dec 18, 2019; Eugene, OR, USA; A general view of the exterior of Matthew Knight Arena before a game between the Montana Grizzlies and the Oregon Ducks. Mandatory Credit: Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports

Payton Pritchard and Will Richardson each scored 14 points as part of a balanced Oregon scoring effort, and the eighth-ranked Ducks rolled to an 81-48 win over Montana on Wednesday night in Eugene, Ore.

Francis Okoro added 12 points and 17 rebounds for the Ducks (9-2), who welcomed touted freshman N’Faly Dante into the playing rotation for his college debut.

Dante made an impression right away less than a week after becoming eligible, checking in to cheers from the crowd with 7:50 to go in the first half. He promptly scored on his first touch.

On his next touch, he took a lob from Pritchard and dunked, giving the Ducks a 25-15 lead. Pritchard added seven assists and five rebounds to his final line.

Dante went on to score nine of his 11 points in the first half, including a put-back of his own miss with nine seconds left that gave the Ducks a 37-24 halftime lead.

Guard Kendal Manuel led the Grizzlies (4-6) with 15 points. Guard Sayeed Pridgett added 11 points and eight rebounds.

The Ducks scored 11 unanswered points after the game was tied at 12. Chris Duarte, who finished with 12 points, made a 3-pointer and a layup, then stole a pass and fed Richardson for a short jumper in the lane with 8:42 to go in the first half.

Richardson scored 12 points in the second half as Oregon took control and pulled away with a late 16-0 run. The Ducks had eight dunks and outscored the Grizzlies 46-24 in the paint.

Montana lost its third game to a Pac-12 opponent this season, having fallen to Stanford and then-No. 25 Washington. Okoro’s rebound total was the most by a Duck since current NBA player Jordan Bell had 16 against North Carolina in the 2017 Final Four semifinals.

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