After suffering its worse conference loss of the season, Oregon (14-9, 5-5) was able to get a 73-62 bounce back win against the conferences last place team, the California Golden Bears (5-17, 0-10).
Despite Cal being on a 10 game losing streak, the Bears were able to keep pace with the Ducks in the first half due to a high turnover rate from Oregon.
“The turnovers really took away from some of the good things we did,” head coach Dana Altman said. “We got to be smarter than that, more basketball savvy and make simple plays.”
The Ducks, again, found themselves slumping on offense in the first half. They committed 11 turnovers that Cal was able to turn into 12 points in the first half to keep them within striking distance during the first half. The Bears brought the game within one point until Payton Pritchard hit a momentum shifting three-pointer.
Pritchard, who finished the night with his second career double-double with 20 points and 10 rebounds, was able to hit a three-pointer that sparked a 17-2 run for Oregon, who never trailed after that point.
This double-double was important not only for Oregon but for Pritchards’ confidence moving forward. Pritchard has been in a shooting slump this entire season, he’s only cracked the 20-point mark two times before this game.
“I shot it definitely a lot better today; hopefully I can make strides now,” Pritchard said. “I tightened up my form, not thinking as much and just playing ball.”
During Oregon’s big run the crowd and team was energized by a Kenny Wooten.
Wooten successfully went up for a two-handed block on Cal’s Matt Bradley. But it didn't stop there for Bradley.
After the miss, the ball found Victor Bailey Jr. in the corner, but after his missed three-point shot, Bradley was waiting underneath the rim for a rebound, but did not see Wooten barreling down the court behind him. Wooten elevated over Bradley for the two-handed slam sending the 8,768 fans in Matthew Knight Arena into a frenzy
Despite an early 7-0 run from Cal in the second half, the Pac-12’s last ranked scoring offense was unable to muster enough offense to give itself a chance for an upset over the Ducks.
Oregon took advantage of the Pac-12’s worst scoring defense with 11 three-pointers, just two shy of its season high 13 and finished the game shooting 54.7 percent from the field.
Cal made history tonight, but not the good kind. The Bears eclipsed their record of 10 straight losses with their 11th loss to Oregon, a record that had not been touched since the 1961-62 season.
The Ducks will round out the Bay Area homestand against Stanford on Sat. at 5 p.m.
“We got three days to prepare. We’re going to get ready for Stanford and you know its a must win,” Pritchard said.
Follow Gabriel on Twitter @gabe_ornelas