In its first game in 271 days, Oregon was led by a player who waited even longer to return to the court.
Eugene Omoruyi, a redshirt-senior who sat out last season after transferring from Rutgers, scored a career-high 31 points and had 11 rebounds for the No. 21 Ducks in a 83-75 season-opening loss to Missouri Wednesday night at the the CHI Health Center in Omaha, Neb.
It was a performance 631 days in the making for Omuruyi, who averaged 13.8 points and 7.2 rebounds in 2018-19 for the Scarlet Knights and last played in a college basketball game in the Big Ten Tournament on March 13, 2019.
Omuruyi opened his UO tenure with his eighth career double-double, but it wasn’t enough to win as only Chris Duarte (22 points) and Eric Williams Jr. (13 points, nine rebounds) were the only other Ducks in double-figures.
Xavier Pinson scored 22 points to lead five players in double-figures for the Tigers, who led 42-31 at halftime thanks to an edge in turnovers and rebounding. Both teams took better care of the ball in the second half though and Oregon dominated the glass 23-12 after the break.
Omuruyi scored 12 straight spanning the end of the first half into the start of the second to get UO within 42-37. But Pinson scored eight points as part of a 12-2 Missouri run in response.
Duarte hit a three to pull Oregon within 76-71 with 45.4 to go, but the Ducks couldn’t get any closer.
The Oregonian/OregonLive will update this story.
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