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Ducks snap 12-game losing streak to California in 80-69 win

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Led by Joseph Young, Oregon defeated Cal for the first time since 2008.

Lance Iversen-USA TODAY Sports

There's always that one team that seems to have your number no matter what you throw at them. For Oregon, that team was California. Heading into Wednesday's game, the Ducks had lost 12 straight to Cal dating back to 2008. But all streaks must come to an end.

After falling behind early in the second half, Oregon was able to fight back to reclaim the lead with a layup and foul from Dwayne Benjamin for the three-point play, helping spark a 17-4 scoring run to take control of the game. Joseph Young set the tone in the first half while Elgin Cook and Dwayne Benjamin finished the job in the second half as Oregon (21-8, 11-5 Pac-12) defeated Cal 80-69 at Haas Pavilion on Wednesday night.

Oregon's run included a thunderous one-handed dunk from Joseph Young, who led all scorers with 25 points, including 17 points in the first half.

For the Bears (16-12, 6-9 Pac-12), Jabari Bird did all he could to keep the streak alive with 22 points, including shooting 4-of-9 from beyond the arc. During the first half, Bird had nine points and five rebounds in the first 10 minutes of the game, keeping Cal within reach after the Ducks started the game on an 8-0 run.

Unfortunately for Cal, Bird cooled off in the second half when the Ducks finally took control of the game as Bird, who had 16 points in the first half, went almost 10 minutes without a basket.

Early in the second half, the Bears took a 47-44 lead thanks to back-to-back 3-pointers from Bird and Sam Singer as part of an 8-1 scoring run for Cal. But when Bird started to miss his shots, the Ducks capitalized and never looked back.

Oregon was able to maintain their lead with continued success at the free-throw line, shooting 85 percent on the night. Late in the second half, Elgin Cook threw down a dunk while drawing the foul to put the Ducks up by 10 with 5:09 left to play. Cook helped the Ducks all night at the free throw line, hitting 9-of-11 shots while finishing with 17 points.

Dwayne Benjamin played a big role off the bench, especially late in the game. The Ducks increased their lead to double digits in the second half when Benjamin knocked down a corner three, putting the Ducks up 68-58 with seven minutes remaining. Benjamin drilled another 3-pointer with just under three minutes to go, giving Oregon a 76-67 lead. Benjamin came off the bench to deliver a double-double with 18 points on 7-of-10 shooting and 10 rebounds.

The Ducks got off to a hot start, jumping out to an 8-0 lead after Cal missed its first six shots from the field. Joseph Young kicked things off with a deep 3-pointer from the top of the perimeter, something Oregon was glad to see after Young struggled in the first half against Utah on Sunday. The Ducks were also doing a good job of denying easy baskets inside the paint.

The Bears used an 11-4 scoring run over the span of four and a half minutes to take their first lead of the night. Bird continued his big first half, hitting a 3-pointer during the scoring run, while a jumper from Tyrone Wallace gave Cal a 25-24 lead with 6:20 left in the half.

At the half, Oregon held a 39-37 lead over California. The first half was all about Joseph Young and Jabari Bird as Young scored 17 points while Bird had 16. The Ducks seemed content letting Young run the show on offense as the guard hit 7-of-13 shots from the field in the first half.

Oregon will look for their 10th win in 12 games on Sunday when they head to Palo Alto to take on Stanford at Maples Pavilion. The Ducks are going for their first Bay Area sweep over Cal and Stanford since they last did so back in 1976.