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Oregon Defeats Central Arkansas for Fifth-Straight Win

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NCAA Basketball: Connecticut at Oregon Joseph Weiser-USA TODAY Sports

The Oregon Ducks (10-3) will enter Pac-12 play on a high note after a 96-82 victory over the Central Arkansas Bears (6-7) and fifth consecutive win.

After a poor start last game on the road against Fresno State, the script got flipped Wednesday night at Matthew Knight Arena. 18-0 and 9-0 runs in the first half fueled a hot Oregon team, shooting 73 percent from the floor. The Ducks got off to a slow start defensively as the Bears took an early lead.

Once the Ducks clamped down, their shooting caught fire. Oregon would finish at 62 percent after starting the second half cold.

Payton Pritchard led the Ducks with 24 points as he hit his first five shots to begin his night. He finished 4-6 from the three-point range. Oregon shot 12-20 collectively beyond the arc.

Mikyle McIntosh and Troy Brown finished with 17 points and 14 points, respectively. Brown has now gone two-straight games without recording a double-double.

Kenny Wooten factored in by adding to his block total with three on the night and finished with eight points. After a strong performance last game, Elijah Brown did not influence much into the game with only eight points.

M.J. Cage saw significant time against the Bears and delivered with 11 points and four rebounds. Cage hit double-digits for the first time as a Duck.

Jordan Howard finished with 35 points for Central Arkansas as the first half proved fatal due to the shooting of Oregon. Central Arkansas trailed Oregon, 55-40, at halftime. Mathieu Kamba scored 14 points and grabbed six rebounds.

The Bears managed to get within single digits of the Ducks’ lead at one point but were unable to keep the momentum. Central Arkansas shot 48 percent from field goals.

For the Ducks, the offense appears to be no issue given the current starters and bench players. The defense remains iffy and could be a problem as conference play is about to start. Oregon has little over a week to prepare.

Oregon goes into the break on a five-game winning streak and will open Pac-12 games against Utah and Colorado at home.

The game against Utah is on Dec. 29 at 7:00 p.m. with a telecast on FS1.