Oregon’s won some blowouts this season and lost some others.
Wednesday night, against a UC Riverside team they just couldn’t shake, the Ducks did enough at the end to get the 71-65 nonconference men’s basketball victory at Matthew Knight Arena.
Despite leading for almost the entiregame, Oregon still only held a two-point advantage going into the final two minutes.
But an acrobatic layup by De’Vion Harmon that turned into a three-point play put Oregon up 68-63 with 1:52 to play and N’Faly Dante added three more points from the free-throw line as the Ducks improved to 5-3.
“We needed a win and we found a way to get it,” Oregon coach Dana Altman said. “A lot of things to improve upon but there’s going to be those games where you just gotta scratch out a win.”
Will Richardson led the Ducks with 17 points and five assists, Dante finished with 12 points and five rebounds, and Eric Williams Jr. had 11 points and eight rebounds.
For the second game in row, everyone who played for Oregon scored as the Ducks shot 55.3% from the field (26-for-47) and 42.9% (9-for-21) from the 3-point line.
Richardson made 7 of his 12 attempts and is now 14-for-22 in his last two games and averaging 17.5 points after breaking out of an early season slump. The Ducks have also combined to shoot nearly 61% from the field in their last two games, both wins.
“We had a lot of good looks tonight,” Altman said. “I think it was good that some guys stepped up and got some down.”
Oregon made its first eight shots of the game, with the final two attempts during that stretch being back-to-back 3-pointers by Quincy Guerrier and Richardson to put the Ducks up 21-13 at the 13:19 mark.
A pair of baskets by Jacob Young and 3-pointers from Guerrier and Harmon extended their lead into double digits for the first time, 38-28, with 3:55 to play in the half.
Oregon made 6-of-11 from the 3-point line in the first half and that proved to be the difference for the Ducks, who were 17-for-26 (65.4%) overall in the first half to lead 42-37 lead at halftime.
The Highlanders (5-4) only had one more miss in the half and ended on a 7-2 run to get their deficit back into single digits by the break.
UC Riverside tied the score 49-49 on a steal and layup by Quinton Ford with 13:08 to play in the game and then went up 56-55 with 9:10 left on a 3-pointer by Dominick Pickett, giving the Highlanders their first lead since the opening minute.
It was a short-lived advantage as a 3-pointer by Williams put the Ducks back up by two and sparked an 8-2 Oregon run.
“I just go out there and try and help the team,” Williams said. “I got the shot at the time and made it.”
The Highlanders made just one of their final seven shots after Oregon regained the lead.
Follow Chris Hansen on Twitter @chansen_RG or email at firstname.lastname@example.org. For more sports coverage, visit registerguard.com. Want more stories like this? Subscribe to get unlimited access and support local journalism.
Oregon vs. Arizona State
4 p.m. Sunday at Matthew Knight Arena. TV: Pac-12 Networks. Radio: KUJZ-FM (95.3).
This article originally appeared on Register-Guard: Oregon Ducks fend off UC Riverside to earn men's basketball victory