With 1:20 remaining in a four-point game, Baylor’s Makai Mason's floater went just over Kenny Wooten’s outstretched hand, and banked into the basket. It was close to being Wooten’s fifth block, but it put Baylor ahead 52-45 and capped a tough loss for Oregon.
Despite an abysmal and season low 16 points in the first half, Oregon men’s basketball (8-4) nearly came back from a 16-point deficit in a close 57-47 loss to Baylor (7-4) in Waco, Texas.
Neither Bol Bol or Abu Kigab played in the game. Bol is recovering from a left foot injury, and was out for his third consecutive game. The two rebounders were missed, as Baylor dominated the glass, outrebounding the Ducks 33-18.
Baylor put Oregon in a 16-point deficit by dominating the paint after halftime. The Ducks responded with a 15-4 run, with dunks from Wooten and threes from Payton Pritchard, who finished with 14 points and 4-10 from three point range. His threes fueled a 7-0 run that trimmed the lead to 45-42 with four minutes left.
But the Ducks couldn’t contain sophomore forward Tristan Clark, who leads the NCAA in field goal percentage at 79.2 percent. Baylor’s leading scorer played nearly the entire game, and was a constant threat as he scored on several wide-open dunks in the second half to keep Oregon at bay. He finished with 13 points and 8 rebound in 38 minutes.
Oregon may be leading the Pac-12 in field goal percentage at 76.4 percent, but it did not look that way against Baylor in the first half. The Ducks were down 28-16, on 29 percent shooting.
After a Pritchard stole the ball and scored on the game’s first possession, Baylor went on a 12-1 run. The Ducks couldn’t figure out Baylor’s zone defense, and shot 1-15 and went scoreless for for 12 minutes. They were fortunate to only be down 12 by halftime.
This loss will hang on the Ducks for their weeklong break. The next game is December 29 against Boise State in Idaho. The Ducks defeated the Broncos 66-54 on Dec. 15 in Eugene.
Follow August Howell on Twitter @howell_august