The Oregon Ducks (17-5, 12-4) kicked off their final week of regular season play by outpacing the Arizona Wildcats (17-9, 11-9) at Matt Knight Arena for an 80-to-69 victory.
EUGENE, OREGON - With a potential PAC-12 Regular Season Title on the line, Dana’s Ducks used dominant play from two of its star players to lift them towards the win and set up an intriguing matchup against UCLA on Wednesday.
Chris Duarte made a strong case for PAC-12 player of the year by scoring 22 points (7-10 FG, 4-5 3PT) and collecting seven rebounds while Eugene Omoruyi scored 21 to help break the game open for the Ducks.
Arizona and Oregon traded off triples to start off the scoring, then an 8-0 run capped off by a triple from LJ Figueroa put the Ducks up 16 to 8 at the 15:07 mark. But after Duarte drained a triple to extend the lead to 19-11 the Ducks as a team missed their next ten shots, and the Wildcats were able to tie it at 21 apiece.
A dunk from freshman Franck Kepnang broke the shooting slump and returned the lead to Oregon, however, Arizona managed to build a six-point lead (their largest of the night) with 4:06 remaining before the half. But Oregon finished the half on top thanks to a 10-0 run and a late three from Omoruyi that put the home team up 40 to 36 at the break.
The Wildcats fought to within five points in the second half, but sure shooting from Oregon helped extend the lead early and expand it to as much as 15 points. Only two Wildcats scored in the double digits: James Akinjo (19 points) and Azuolas Tubelis (12 points).
LJ Figueroa put in another great performance by recording 14 points, five rebounds and two assists. Will Richardson was the only other Duck to finish in the double digits with 12 points, which included three three-pointers. Eric Williams Jr and Chandler Lawson also contributed quality minutes, and they both will be called upon during tourney time.
The Ducks shot 45.5 percent from the floor and hit 12 of their 22 shots from three-point land, while the Wildcats finished at 45.3 percent and 8 of 23 from deep.
Oregon controls its own destiny in the PAC-12 race as the team will skip practice tomorrow to show up fully rested against UCLA on Wednesday.
NEXT UP: UCLA
Wednesday, 6 PM, ESPN2 - Eugene, Oregon