After falling to Oregon State on Sunday in their Pac-12 opener, the Oregon Ducks came back to defeat the California Golden Bears 68-65 on Wednesday night at Matthew Knight Arena.
Chris Boucher led the way for Oregon with a season-high 18 points while Tyler Dorsey added 17 points, including a late three-pointer that helped seal the deal on the win.
On Cal's side, Jaylen Brown led the way with 20 points. Ivan Rabb added 17 points while Tyrone Wallace scored 16 points.
The biggest takeaway from the box score was that Cal struggled from beyond the arc, missing all 12 shots they took. Oregon shot just 33 percent from three-point range, but sank clutch threes late in the game when they mattered most.
Oregon and California opened neck and neck in the first five minutes, trading baskets before a three-pointer from Tyler Dorsey gave the Ducks an 11-6 edge. During this run, the Bears went nearly five minutes without a field goal.
After the second media timeout, we got to learn all about Bill Walton's summer in which he went to a bunch of Grateful Dead shows. During this magical recap, Dave Pasch brought up a photo where Walton apparently looks like a "deranged Gandalf," which means we need to find this photo immediately.
After falling behind 11-6, the Bears went on a 10-2 run to reclaim the lead midway through the first half. Early on, Tyler Dorsey was the only one for Oregon who was managing to get baskets to fall.
Ducks are going to need someone other than Dorsey to get going. He leads with 8. Cook is next with 3.— Tyson Alger (@tysonalger) January 7, 2016
Take out Dorsey's 3-3 shooting and Oregon is just 2-15. Yikes.— Matt Prehm (@Prehmmr247) January 7, 2016
Dillon Brooks finally got on the board with just under four minutes to go in the first half, cutting the Cal lead back down to two points. Coming into tonight's game, Brooks was Oregon's leading scorer at 16 points per game.
After missing his first six shots, Dillon Brooks hits a reverse layin to get Oregon within 23-21, 3:27 to go. Let's see if that sparks him.— Rob Moseley (@GoDucksMoseley) January 7, 2016
With 57 seconds left in the first half, Chris Boucher hit an impressive layup to tie things up at 27. Boucher and Dorsey led the Ducks in scoring during the first half with eight points a piece. If you like clean, perfectly executed basketball, this was not the game for you.
The first half of Cal-Oregon is one hour of my life I wish I could get back. 5 total assists. 16 total turnovers.— GoldenBlogs (@GoldenBlogs) January 7, 2016
Early in the second half, Tyler Dorsey and Casey Benson each sunk a three-pointer as the Ducks and Bears continued to go back and forth. At this point, Cal had yet to hit a shot from beyond the arc.
The Bears went on another brief scoring drought, going three and a half minutes without a bucket. This allowed Oregon to get a three-point lead after a Chris Boucher layup, but Tyrone Wallace was able to hit back-to-back baskets to snap Cal's small dry spell.
This Oregon vs. Cal game has had 13 lead changes, tied 8 times. Ducks currently lead 46-45 with 9:15 left in the second half.— Brianna Amaranthus (@BriAmaranthus) January 7, 2016
As the two teams continued to go back and forth, the Ducks had a series of baskets that began to shift the momentum. Dwayne Benjamin started by draining a three-pointer (Cal was still 0-for-9 at this point), before Jordan Bell threw down a vicious dunk to make it 51-47 with 7:16 left to play.
The Ducks struggled to hit shots in the first half, but whatever adjustments they were able to make in the second half worked for them.
Ducks shooting almost 53 percent this half after going 32 percent from the field in the first. #GoDucks— Oregon Basketball (@OregonMBB) January 7, 2016
After a three-pointer from Dwayne Benjamin, Elgin Cook hit back-to-back layups, including a three-point play to put the Ducks up 60-54 with just over three minutes to play.
Trailing by three points with 1:27 left to play, Tyron Wallace missed a pair of free-throws as the Bears missed an easy opportunity to make it a one point game.
Then, with 57 seconds left, the Ducks got the swing of momentum they needed to take control. After a loose ball on the floor went to Oregon thanks to a jump ball call, Tyler Dorsey drained a 3-pointer from the corner to put Oregon up 63-57.
That was enough to put Oregon over the top as the Ducks closed things out for the win.
Oregon will look for their second straight win when Stanford comes to town this weekend. Tip-off is set for Sunday night at 7:00 PM PT.