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Pac-12 basketball: Missouri holds off No. 21 Oregon; Washington State beats Oregon State

Missouri forward Jordan Wilmore and Oregon forward Eugene Omoruyi go for a rebound.
Missouri forward Jordan Wilmore and Oregon forward Eugene Omoruyi go for a rebound in the second half on Wednesday in Omaha, Neb.
(John Peterson / Associated Press)

Xavier Pinson scored 19 of his 22 points in the second half and Missouri overcame a mid-game lull and late Oregon flurry to beat the No. 21 Ducks 83-75 on Wednesday night.

Mark Smith scored 13 of his 15 points in the first half as Missouri (2-0) built a 17-point lead, but Chris Duarte scored eight straight points to get the Ducks within five in the final minute.

Eugene Omoruyi set career highs with 31 points and 11 rebounds in his first game for the Ducks (0-1) since transferring from Rutgers. While Missouri missed 15 shots in a row spanning the halves, Omoruyi scored 12 straight points to lead Oregon’s push to get within single digits.

Pinson and Javon Pickett, who had 11 of his 13 points in the second half, helped Missouri rebuild the lead before the Ducks made it close late.

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The game was played in Omaha because of scheduling problems for both teams caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Oregon coach Dana Altman was able to use his connections at Creighton to set up games with the Tigers and Seton Hall on Friday at CHI Health Center.

Altman coached at Creighton for 16 years before going to Oregon and he remains close friends with athletic director Bruce Rasmussen, who served as a middleman with arena officials.

The Ducks were without junior point guard Will Richardson, who had surgery on his left thumb Wednesday and will be out at least six weeks. He’s Oregon’s most experienced player and was set to take the place of Payton Pritchard, the 2019-20 Pac-12 player of the year and a first-round NBA draft pick by the Boston Celtics.

UNLV transfer Amauri Hardy opened the game at point guard, and two other transfers, Omoruyi and Eric Williams Jr. from Duquesne, also started for the Ducks.

The Tigers played with urgency on both ends of the floor in the empty arena. They forced early turnovers that were turned into easy run-out baskets.

The 6-foot-10, 260-pound Jeremiah Tilmon Jr. was a load inside and created shots on the perimeter for Smith, who made three 3-pointers during a 32-12 run that put Missouri ahead 39-22.

Washington State 59, Oregon State 55

Isaac Bonton had 15 points, seven assists and three steals, DJ Rodman scored all his career-high 13 points in the second half, and Washington State beat Oregon State 59-55 on Wednesday night.

Alzaj Kunc and Noah Williams scored 12 points apiece for WSU (3-0, 1-0 Pac-12).

Oregon State scored the final eight first-half points and opened the second with a 7-0 run to open a 10-point lead — matching its largest of the game — and Dearon Tucker made two free throws to make it 39-29 with 14:24 to play. Efe Abogidi answered with a dunk to spark a 24-7 run that gave the Cougars a 53-46 lead. Rodman scored all his points during that stretch and his third 3-pointer capped the spurt with 5:47 to go.

Zach Reichle scored 12 points and Warith Alatishe added 11 points, 10 rebounds and two blocks for Oregon State (2-1, 0-1).

Reichle hit a 3-pointer and Ethan Thompson made 1 of 2 free throws to trim Oregon State’s deficit to a point with 59 seconds left. Kunc made two foul shots, and after Reichle missed a 3, Bonton made a free throw to cap the scoring with 6 seconds remaining.

The teams combined to make 2 of 13 from the field in the final 5 minutes.

Bonton, who averaged 15.3 points last season as a junior, made just 4 of 18 from the field and is shooting just 23.7% (14 of 59) this season.

Abogidi, a 6-foot-10 freshman from Nigeria, finished with seven rebounds, three blocks and two steals.


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