Oregon Basketball: Payton Pritchard Leads Ducks Past Cal

Payton Pritchard looks for an outlet vs California.Justin Phillips/KPNW Sports
Payton Pritchard looks for an outlet vs California.Justin Phillips/KPNW Sports /

Payton Pritchard led the Oregon Ducks to a  Wednesday night scoring 20 points and 10 rebounds.

The Oregon Ducks returned home to face the worst team in the Conference in the California Golden Bears. Cal was still looking for their first Pac-12 win of the year. Both teams were averaging 70 points per game this season with Cal having a slight edge in three-point shooting and free throws. It was close to a sellout on Wednesday night to welcome Oregon home after a 1-1 road trip and win over Utah.

Oregon hit more three-point shots in the first seven minutes against California than they did in the entire game against Colorado last week. Despite finding outside shots, the Ducks led by just three points 11-8 after Paul White hit a shot from outside the arc.

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After starting out well, Oregon went on a 3+ minute scoring drought. The Cal Defense kept Oregon outside the three-point line on multiple possessions. The Golden Bears took the lead 15-13 with just over nine minutes left in the first half. Cal was playing with a more aggressive approach toward the basket hitting 38 percent of their shots inside over the first 12 minutes.

The Ducks hit back to back three-point shots forcing a Cal timeout to take a 22-15 lead with 6:25 left in the first half. Payton Pritchard and Paul White helped Oregon to 50 percent shooting from three-point range.

Oregon took a 32-21 lead into halftime. Payton Pritchard led the Ducks at the break with 9 points and 7 rebounds. Dana Altman’s team had 11 turnovers in the first half and 7 assists. The team found some shots inside the paint late in the first half, including several double shot opportunities with Kenny Wooten finding a put back slam dunk with about three minutes to go in the first half.

Despite giving up some baskets, Oregon maintained control in the second half. Midway through the second half Oregon was shooting better than 50 percent from the floor and added just four turnovers from their first half 11. The Ducks went on a run hitting four of five shots with 8:12 left in the game holding a 51-42 lead.

Oregon started the final seven minutes strong with back to back three-point baskets again by White and Pritchard while also forcing a turnover pushing their lead to 60-44. Cal came back with two baskets of their own before Pritchard hit his fifth three point basket of the night. Pritchard finished the night with the second double-double of his career with 20 points and 10 rebounds. Will Richardson had 9 assists in the 73-62 victory.

The Oregon Ducks won the game and are now at the .500 mark in Pac-12 play with the win over California. The Ducks are back at Matthew Knight Arena on Sunday to face Stanford. (5 pm Pacific Time, ESPN2)