You can’t draw up a much better first half than that! Oregon remains undefeated at home with their 16th-straight win of the season at Matthew Knight Arena.
Dana Altman’s Ducks are a different team at home. If their 16-0 home record, and 5-5 road record hasn’t convinced you of that, then hopefully this game has. The Pac-12’s leader in points (20.2) and assists (5.4) Payton Pritchard led Oregon on their best shooting performance in a half, hitting 17-25 (68.0%) from the field. The Ducks caught fire in the first half from downtown knocking down 5-6 (83.3%) from beyond the arch.
The Ducks maintained a comfortable 10 point lead for much of the first half until a spot up three from 25’ out by Pritchard helped spark a 21-0 run by Oregon. Pritchard’s triple from long-range gives the senior his 1,900th career point; joining legends like Gary Payton and Jason Gardner as the only players in Pac-12 history with 1,900 career points and 600 career assists.
There's the 1,900th point of Payton Pritchard's career. He joins basketball legends Gary Payton of Oregon State and Jason Gardner of Arizona as the only players in Pac-12 history with 1,900 career points and 600 career assists.#GoDucks #AlwaysUs pic.twitter.com/4M1c9i4GXt— Oregon Men's Basketball (@OregonMBB) March 6, 2020
From that point on there was no turning back for Oregon. With N’Faly Dante back from injury and getting the requisite minutes of a player of his stature, the Ducks offense and defense was clicking on all cylinders. Looking beyond the pure scoring numbers, Oregon played nearly flawlessly in the first half. The free-throw game was automatic in the first half going 7-7 and the defense was on lockdown.
Oregon forced eight turnovers in the first half while remaining strong on the boards with 16 rebounds. Altman’s press, applied early on to Cal essentially suffocated the Golden Bears offensive game plan. Cal’s offense looked out of sorts only making 8-24 (33%) field goals, resulting in a 21-0 swing putting the game out of reach by the end of the first half’s buzzer.
On cruise control through the second half, the Ducks dotted their I’s and crossed their T’s on their was to a 90-56 victory over Cal. The win extends their home winning-streak to 16-0, but also ties them with UCLA for the most wins in the PAC-12 with just a single game remaining till tournament time.
Pritchard finished with a team-high 20 points and nine assists. five Ducks including Pritchard scored in double-figures. Anthony Mathis with 17 while his fellow guard Will Richardson put up a respectable 13 points of his own. Forward, Shakur Juiston had 10 points of his own, but the surprise of the night had to have been freshman guard, Addison Patterson. The freshman guard was 3-4 scoring 13 points, leading Oregon’s bench in scoring.
The final game of the regular season is all that’s left. Oregon faces the Stanford Cardinal for a final time before entering the Pac-12 tournament potentially as the first seed. Stanford (20-10) will be a good final test before the Pac-12 tourney begins for a Ducks team who will be looking to finish the season undefeated at home.