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HomeSportsBasketballUCI Men’s Basketball Shock in 69-56 Win Over University of Oregon Ducks

UCI Men’s Basketball Shock in 69-56 Win Over University of Oregon Ducks

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The UCI Men’s Basketball team (2-0) netted their second exhibition win of the season, 69-56, against the highly ranked University of Oregon Ducks (1-1) at Matthew Knight Arena on Friday, Nov. 11.

UCI junior guards DJ Davis and Dawson Baker scored a combined 35 points to propel UCI towards a decisive win. Davis continued to be a vital scorer for UCI and put up precise shooting splits, 6-14 from the three point line and 8-17 from the field. The win comes as a huge surprise to many betting outlets such as FanDuel, who predicted that UCI would lose to the Ducks by a margin of 15 points. 

The duo started their campaign early and scored UCI’s first four points. The Ducks were put on the board with free throws from senior center N’Faly Dante and a jumper from junior guard Keeshawn Barthelemy. Although the Ducks responded quickly to UCI’s advances, both teams failed to score for a resounding three minutes until back-to-back threes by the ‘Eaters put UCI ahead, 10-4. In the following two minutes, the ‘Eaters traded baskets, Davis sank a three and UCI sophomore center Bent Leuchten landed a free throw, bringing the score to 16-8. 

Although UCI looked poised to run away with the game, a four minute drought in which UCI went 0-8 from the field allowed the Ducks to catch up and eventually tie the score 17-17 at the six minute mark. The Ducks even led 18-17 with two free throws from freshman center Kel’el Ware. 

However, the Ducks failed to pull away any further and didn’t have another lead that night. By the two minute mark, UCI led by ten points and continued their lead at the half, 35-22. 

The Anteaters took quick initiative in the second half and continued to overtake the Ducks comfortably, 42-26, going on an 18-5 run. In minute fifteen, Davis drained a dagger beyond the arc and cemented UCI’s biggest lead of the night, 55-28. Although the Ducks were able to cut the lead down to under 20 points in the seventh minute, UCI continued to run away with the game. 

By the two minute mark the deficit still loomed over the Ducks at 66-49.The game settled at a final score of 69-56. 

UCI’s win over the Ducks was the first time UCI beat a Pac-12 opponent since defeating Washington State 86-72 on Nov. 14, 2013. UCI’s last win over a ranked opponent was in the first round of the NCAA Tournament in 2019. UCI’s win over the Ducks also contained a redemptive quality after Ducks defeated the ‘Eaters during their stint in the 2019 NCAA Tournament.

Jason Garcia Escobar is a Sports Intern for the Fall 2022 quarter. He can be reached at jasonag3@uci.edu.