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Ducks drop 12th straight to California in 96-83 loss

Joseph Young scored 29 points, including 14-15 shooting from the free throw line, but Oregon had another poor defensive effort as Cal extended their winning streak to 12 games dating back to 2008.

Scott Olmos-USA TODAY Sports

Superman had kryptonite, the Ducks have the California Golden Bears. For the 12th consecutive game, Cal came out on top over Oregon in a 96-83 win. Oregon has not defeated Cal since a 92-70 win over the Bears on the road in 2008.

Jordan Matthews wreaked havoc on the Ducks all night, scoring 32 points on 10-14 shooting and 9-9 from the line. Coming into the game, Matthews had been averaging 7.4 points per game, so one can’t exactly blame Dana Altman for not adequately preparing for that type of performance.

“We gave him that open three to start the game and he got it going,” said Altman.

Joseph Young did all he could for Oregon with 29 points on 6-11 shooting including 16-17 from the free throw line. As a team the Ducks shot 52.5 percent from the field and nearly 90 percent from the line.

“Offensively he played pretty well,” said Altman. “Defensively he didn’t play very well, I don’t know if I can put it any way. That was a total team breakdown defensively, it wasn’t just one guy.”

The game got off to a fast start with both teams wasting no time in scoring and pushing the tempo. Oregon made eight of their first nine shots from the field, but the Bears were able to get to the line early and often, hitting their first seven free throws during that time.

Cal built an early six point lead, but Oregon responded quickly out of the media timeout with a six point swing to retake the lead. The Ducks soon found themselves in foul trouble, putting Cal in the bonus with nine minutes still to play in the half. Cal wasn’t missing their free throws either, shooting 92 percent from the line during the first half.

The point swings continued on both sides. After the Bears had built a lead of six points, Oregon quickly responded back with an 8-2 run to tie the game.

The Ducks then went cold, missing eight consecutive shots and allowing the Bears to build an eight point lead, their largest of the half. Joseph Young provided Oregon with a much needed three-point play to put some life back in the Ducks.

Matthews dominated the first half for Cal, scoring 20 points on 7-9 shooting and a perfect 5-5 from the line.

The two sides combined to shoot 95 percent from the line in the first half, with Cal shooting 11-12 and Oregon hitting all eight of their free throws.

After hitting eight of their first nine shots to open the game, Oregon shot 8-22 the rest of the way, while the Bears shot 15-27 in the first half.

The Ducks reclaimed the lead early in the second half after a pair of offensive rebounds, including one from Jonathan Loyd, set up a three-pointer from Mike Moser to give Oregon a 50-49 edge. The play was part of a 10-0 run to put Oregon back on top.

The game would return to its back-and-forth form with the tenth lead change as Cal jumped back out on top. Free throws continued to play a big role in the game, as four more shots from the line for the Bears gave them the lead again. After an 8-0 run, Cal led 67-60 at the mid-point of the second half.

The Ducks fought their way back into the game with a 9-4 run, including a steal and layup from Loyd to bring the Ducks back within two.

With five and a half minutes to go, Young missed his free throw of the night after hitting all 13 of his previous attempts, but recovered and hit the second to make it 75-72. A three-point basket from Matthews and an inside basket from Cobbs shortly thereafter extended Cal’s lead back up to seven.

After a missed layup by Loyd, blocked by the rim, and a dunk from Solomon off the break, the Bears had their first double digit lead of the night with just under three minutes to go, which would be all they would need for win number 12 in a row.

“We’ve got to do some soul searching,” said Altman. “We have a lot of work to do. We’re not very good defensively, there’s no other way to put it.”

The Ducks will look to end their sloppy start to conference play when they take on the Stanford Cardinal at Matthew Knight Arena on Sunday afternoon. Oregon and Stanford split last year’s contests with each side winning on their home court.

“This loss makes that Stanford game a lot bigger than it was 40 minutes ago,” said Oregon’s Mike Moser.

Tip off for Sunday’s game is set for 2:00 pm and will be televised on Fox Sports 1.