a man makes a basketball shot in raider arena.
Former NWFSC phenom Brennan Rigsby makes a play in the paint against Santa Clara. The Ducks would come up short, but rigsby would come off the bench for the majority of the game, score eight points, grab a steal, snag two rebounds and assist three baskets.

Santa Clara Broncos 88 - Oregon Ducks 82

After the Buckeyes rolled the Tide off the court in the first ‘big’ game of the Emerald Coast Classic – Oregon and Santa Clara got to work in Niceville.

Former Northwest Florida State College Star Brennan Rigsby joined the Oregon Ducks after his NJCAA championship season with the Raiders. He returned to Raider Arena for the matchup against the Broncos—more on him in a bit.

“I love my time here is probably my favorite year. So it was great to come back and play some ball,” Rigsby said after the game.

The Ducks came into the night with a 4-0 record, including wins over Georgia, Tennessee State, Montana, and Florida A&M.

Santa Clara (5-0) had a similarly milquetoast resume coming into this game – with wins over Utah Tech, Mississippi Valley State, St. Francis (Pa), Stanford, and Southeastern Louisiana State. 

Official attendance was 2196 for the evening – though many of the tickets were sold to Alabama-Ohio State fans who left after the early game ended

First Half

Santa Clara sped out to an early 8-1 lead in the first, slashing their way into the paint and cutting Oregon’s low paint defense to smithereens.

As the half wore on – Oregon would stabilize in the paint but continued to bleed points at a regular clip on the interior to the agile Broncos point guards.

The Ducks would end the half trailing by five.

Second Half

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Oregon claimed its first lead of the half – a brief one – five minutes into the second half. The Ducks would quickly return the lead to Santa Clara but closely trail the Broncos for the balance of the second half.

The Ducks continued to fight back with an even combination of power plays in the paint, mid-range shooting, and contested three-point shots.

Oregon’s foibles at the free throw line would hurt the Ducks. They missed nearly half their shots from the line on the night. Santa Clara managed a better outcome at the line – 75%. They’d also out-rebound the Ducks 39-36.

us leo.

Brennan Rigsby

Northwest Florida State College’s hero from the 2022 NJCAA Playoffs, Brennan Rigsby, returned to Raider Arena – this time in Oregon Green and Yellow. The second-year Duck started the night out ice cold, shooting 0-3 from the field in the first half.

The second half treated Rigsby better. He sank two three-point shots, and a jumper inside the paint had three assists and a steal in the first ten minutes of the second half. Rigsby would hit a three-pointer from the side of the key in the closing minutes of the competition to make it a four-point contest – but the Broncos would stave off the Ducks with precision at the free throw line to close the game out.

He finished with eight points, three assists, two rebounds, and a steal on the night for Oregon.

“We got to rebound, rebounding and make free throws,” Rigsby said at the end of the night, “I think if we do that we win the game and we just got to do that right.”

Final

Santa Clara would take the game and remain undefeated on an 88-82 final score.

Rigsby and the Ducks will meet the Crimson Tide at 4:00 on CBS Sports.

Ohio State and Santa Clara will tip off at 7:00.

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