After playing a key role in the final play against Arizona on Thursday, Payton Pritchard led in scoring with 29 points in a 78-69 win over Arizona State on Saturday.
Oregon Basketball has been tested early this season and those early challenges have allowed this team to gel and build chemistry faster than any other Dana Altman team in his tenure. The catalyst over the last four seasons has been the play and experience of Payton Pritchard and he showed it again on Saturday night.
The Senior for the Ducks scored 29 points opening the night with a three-pointer going 6 for 9 from distance in the win. Oregon swept the opening weekend of Pac-12 play at home over the Arizona schools, a challenge in past seasons that likely would have been a split or an 0-2 start. In doing so they also continued to make a strong push toward the NCAA Tournament with their win over ranked Arizona.
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On Saturday night, it was a battle. The Sundevils did not go away quietly and found ways to fight back on nearly every possession keeping it close throughout the game. Oregon did their job and did not panic. The Ducks shot 48 percent from the floor and 41 percent from three-point range. They also came away with 4 steals and 4 blocks.
Oregon was outplayed by the Arizona State bench who finished with 28 points to the Ducks who had just 10. N’Fale Dante is starting to make his presence felt He finished with 5 points along with 6 rebounds and 2 assists vs the Sundevils. He played just 18 minutes on the floor and had just one personal foul. Dante is still learning and his teammates are also still learning to play with him. It was nice to see that continue to come together in a win over Arizona State.
Oregon Basketball will hit the road this week to take on the Washington Schools. The Washington State Cougars are up next on Thursday. Tipoff is set for 6 pm on Fox Sports 1.