Payton Pritchard and Elijah Brown did not get off to great starts to begin conference play. Both were expected to carry the offensive production after the turnover Oregon sustained after a Final Four appearance. Overall, the offense lacked consistency from the start.
On the road, Pritchard and Brown led the charge in pulling off an upset victory at the Wells Fargo Center in front of a sellout crowd. Despite trailing early in the first half, the Ducks never buckled and came back against the Sun Devils.
Pritchard and Brown each scored 18 points apiece to pace Oregon in the game. Two free throws by Brown with under a minute left in regulation helped to assure victory for the Ducks.
MiKyle McIntosh recorded his second double-double of the season with 12 points and 13 rebounds. Roman Sorkin made a considerable contribution coming off the bench by adding 13 points for the Ducks. His impact helped give Oregon a lead during the second half as the game remained close.
Arizona State fell victim to not finding an offensive rhythm in which Oregon struggled to establish this season. The Sun Devils built a 31-18 lead in the first half as the team rode the momentum from the home crowd.
But the Ducks have been a resilient team under the tenure of coach Dana Altman and showed up once again. Oregon clawed back towards the end of the opening frame with a 14-2 run to tie the game at halftime, 41-41.
With under five minutes to play in regulation, Brown hit a three-pointer to ignite a 10-2 run for the Ducks which proved pivotal in the win. The Sun Devils came close but could not muster enough offense to tip the scales in their favor.
Senior, Kodi Justice, finished with 21 points to lead the Sun Devils. His fellow senior teammates, Shannon Evans II and Tra Holder, finished with 19 points and 14 points respectively. All three seniors have been unable to beat Oregon during their careers with Arizona State.
Both teams will meet again in Eugene on February 22.
Oregon’s win on the road will undoubtedly boost their resume and hopefully provide a much-needed spark to the offense. The Pac-12 appears to be open for the taking, and the Ducks are right back in the conversation.
No. 17 Arizona awaits Oregon on Saturday as the Ducks look for a sweep of the Arizona schools. Tipoff begins at 11:00 a.m. with a telecast on ESPN2.