EUGENE, Ore. — Junior Jeromie Hill led three Roadrunners in double figures with 19 points, but Arsalan Kazemi posted 20 points to help lead Oregon past UTSA, 95-78, on Thursday night at Matthew Knight Arena.
Seniors Michael Hale III and Kannon Burrage added 18 and 17 points, respectively, for the Roadrunners (3-3) in their first-ever meeting against a school from the state of Oregon.
Dominic Artis added 16 points on 7-of-8 shooting, while Tony Woods and Waverly Austin pitched in 15 and 10, respectively, for the Ducks (6-1).
Trailing by a 51-40 count at the break, UTSA opened the second half with a 15-9 run to pull to within five.
Junior Tyler Wood answered an Artis layup with a 3-pointer and Burrage followed suit by draining a three from top of circle to make it 60-53 four minutes into the half.
Senior Larry Wilkins then came up with a steal and found Hale III, who went all the way to the basket to pull the Roadrunners to within five. However, Hale injured his left knee on the play and did not return.
Oregon took advantage of Hale’s absence and used an 8-0 run to push the lead back to double digits.
The Ducks eventually led by as many as 16, but UTSA did not quit.
The Roadrunners cut the deficit to 10 twice in the final 10 minutes, but UTSA got no closer and Oregon pulled away for the 17-point victory.
“It was a gutty performance by our guys,” head coach Brooks Thompson said. “The score isn’t indicative of the way this game went. We made some mistakes, but we never quit, even after Mike (Hale III) went out. That’s what I’m proud of and this is something we can build off of.”
Oregon took advantage of 23 UTSA turnovers and converted those miscues into 33 points. The Ducks also out-rebounded the Roadrunners, 31-19, including 12 on the offensive glass that were turned into a dozen second-chance points.
Both teams shot better than 56 percent. UTSA made 30-of-53 for 56.6 percent, including 9-of-16 from behind the 3-point line, and 9-of-11 at the free-throw line.
Meanwhile, Oregon blistered the nets for 63.3 percent (38-of-60) and made 14-of-17 at the charity stripe.
UTSA connected on nine of its first 11 shots, including 3-of-4 from downtown, in building an early advantage. Hale drilled a pair of 3-pointers to help stake UTSA to a 12-6 lead.
A Hyjii Thomas three and a Burrage jumper gave UTSA a 21-18 edge, but Oregon reeled off 13 unanswered points over the next four minutes to take a 31-21 advantage midway through the half.
The Ducks’ lead grew to as large as 12, but Hale III cut the deficit to eight late in the half on a long-distance connection that made it 46-38. The Federal Way, Wash., native then answered an Austin tip-in with a driving layup, but E.J. Singler found his range from the right wing with a trey to provide the 51-40 halftime score.
The Roadrunners will continue their season-long six-game road stretch at CSU Bakersfield (1-5) on Saturday,. Tip-off is scheduled for 9 p.m. (CT) at Rabobank Arena.