No. 14 Oregon holds off No. 13 Memphis 82-74
PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Oregon weathered some early-season mistakes in a competitive November matchup with Memphis.
Shakur Juiston had 17 points and 10 rebounds, and No. 14 Oregon overcame the lapses to hold off the 13th-ranked Tigers 82-74 in the inaugural Phil Knight Invitational on Tuesday night.
“As a team we knew that we were just making a lot of mistakes, with the ball and defense,” Ducks guard Will Richardson said. “We never really hung our heads, we always kept our heads and kept fighting because we knew it was all things we could fix, and if we fixed those things, we’d be right back in the game.”
Payton Pritchard added 14 points and six assists as the Ducks collected their third straight win to open the season.
James Wiseman had 14 points and 12 rebounds as controversy continued to swirl around the Tigers’ 7-foot-1 freshman phenom. Memphis (2-1) was led by Lester Quinones with 16 points.
Oregon’s Chris Durte had to be helped off the court with 5:12 left in the opening half. He started the second half but quickly went back to the bench. Coach Dana Altman said after the game that Duarte had a bruised knee.
The Ducks led by as many as 12 points in the second half, but Memphis closed within 65-61 after Quinones’ fast-break layup capped an 8-0 run.
Pritchard’s 3-pointer put Oregon up 70-63 with 4:53 left. Wiseman’s jumper got the Tigers within four points at 71-67, but Richardson’s 3 extended the lead again for the Ducks.
Pritchard sunk another 3-pointer with 1:32 left that made it 77-69 and Memphis could not catch up.
“A lot of good things, but a lot of things to work on. And that’s what you expect,” Altman said, pointing to Oregon’s 18 turnovers.
Wiseman played sparingly in the first half after collecting two quick fouls.
Memphis issued a statement on Friday saying Wiseman, the nation’s top-rated recruit and likely a first-round NBA draft pick next year, would miss games while the university worked to restore his eligibility. But the school also said it supports Wiseman challenging the NCAA and has let him play under a temporary restraining order obtained by his attorney.
An NCAA investigation revealed that Wiseman was likely ineligible because Memphis coach Penny Hardaway, who was then coach of East High School, gave $11,500 in moving expenses to help Wiseman’s family move from Nashville to Memphis in the summer of 2017.
Wiseman scored 17 points, grabbed nine rebounds and had five blocks in a 92-46 win over Illinois-Chicago on Friday night.
The NCAA said in a statement during that game that Wiseman “is likely ineligible. The university chose to play him and ultimately is responsible for ensuring its student-athletes are eligible to play.”
A court hearing in the case was scheduled for Monday.
Hardaway said the issues swirling around Wiseman did not factor into the loss.
“I’m not gonna make any excuses. I mean, I think it’s been obviously a tough week for the 18-year-old, but we were ready to play. We understood what was going on,” Hardaway said.
Memphis went 22-14 last season in its first year under Hardaway.
Oregon is the reigning Pac-12 champion. Last season, as the No. 12 seed in the NCAA Tournament, the Ducks lost in the Sweet 16 to eventual national champion Virginia.
In front 41-35 at the half, Oregon held onto the lead until Quinones’ 3-pointer gave the Tigers a 49-48 advantage with 15:48 left. Oregon responded with a 9-0 run to go up 57-49.
“We just got to learn from this, learn from tough losses like this on the road,” Quinones said. “We just got outplayed tonight, gave up a lot of offensive rebounds, missed out on some of the little things. And like you said, us being young, we just really have to learn for stuff like this and just come together.”
Memphis: The Tigers returned just three players who saw action last season. ... Memphis freshmen Precious Achiuwa and Wiseman both played at the Moda Center last April in the Nike Hoops Summit. Wiseman’s Team USA defeated Achiuwa’s Team World 93-87.
Oregon: The Ducks were listed as the visiting team for the game. ... The game was the first of the PK Invitational doubleheader, a follow-up of sorts to the 16-team PK80 tournament in 2017 to honor Nike co-founder Phil Knight. Oregon State played Oklahoma in the second game. The event will continue through 2021.
The Ducks saw the return of starting center Francis Okoro, who missed the game against Boise State after he was hit by a car while walking near the team’s arena in Eugene earlier in the week. He finished with seven points and nine rebounds.
Coming off its back-to-back wins to open the season, the Tigers moved up a spot in the AP Top 25 this week but now can expect to drop a bit.
Oregon also jumped a spot after winning its first two games against Fresno State and Boise State, and the Ducks should continue to climb.
Memphis: The Tigers host Alcorn State on Saturday.
Oregon: The Ducks host Texas-Arlington on Sunday at Matthew Knight Arena.
AP Sports Writer Teresa Walker in Tennessee contributed to this report.