Arizona #9 Oumar Ballo won the opening tip and raced to the rim, where he received a pass and dunk just five seconds into the game.
It looked like another loss was in store for the Ducks.
It took four tries on Oregon’s opening possession, but N’Faly Dante he responded with a dunk of his own.
Dante then intercepted an Arizona pass at half court, made two dribbles and dunked over Kriisa Kerr, electrifying Matthew Knight Arena.
Oregon started the lineup from Will Richardson, Jermaine Couisnard, Rivaldo Soares, Nathan Bittleand N’Faly Dante.
Cousinard, playing in just his fourth game this season since undergoing surgery on a lower-body injury, made the most of the opening nod and led all scorers with 14 points on 5-of-7 shooting in the first half.
After knocking down a 3-pointer, Couisnard grabbed a defensive rebound and began charging down the court, eager to push the transition. WITH Kel’el Ware Couisnard kicked the ball from half court, but instead of finding Ware, the ball flew into the hoop, adding three more points for the Ducks, part of an 8-0 run.
With Cousnard hitting 3-4 3-pointers in the half and Dante hitting 13 3-pointers in the first half, Oregon shot 50% from the field and led 43-37 at halftime.
To open the second half, Arizona guard Courtney Ramey knocked down back-to-back 3-pointers, erasing Oregon’s lead.
However, the Ducks responded with two 3-pointers of their own.
Scroll to Continue
Bittle, returning to the starting lineup, fired a 3-pointer that bounced off the back square before going into the game, and Richardson drained a 3-pointer from the wing before getting a steal and going coast-to-coast for a layup, part 10- 0 Oregon run.
Feeling their own momentum aided by a raucous crowd at Matthew Knight Arena, the Ducks matched their offensive rhythm with defensive intensity.
The Ducks forced nine turnovers in the half and forced the Wildcats into contested shots on which Arizona shot 31%.
Down the stretch, Dante battled with Balla and Tubelis on both ends of the floor. After grabbing one of his four offensive rebounds, Dante went through Ball, threw a pump fake that blew up the defender, and converted a layup through contact to the delight of the crowd.
Overwhelmed by his own success, Dante smiled for the camera on the baseline before bowing to Will Richardson who made a crowning gesture. Dante then made the free throw, extending Oregon’s lead to 14.
Dante finished with 22 points on 9-of-11 shooting and 10 rebounds, while Couisnard dropped 27 points on 6-of-9 shooting from distance as the Ducks defeated No. 9 Arizona 87-68.
Join the community
Follow Eric on Twitter: @EricBerniker
Subscribe to our FREE newsletter to receive the latest Oregon Ducks news straight to your inbox
Join the discussion on our forums HERE