The 352nd edition of the Civil War is a battle for Pac-12 conference standings. Oregon is only one game out of second place and must beat Oregon State, another team fighting for a top four seed in the Pac-12 Tournament, to keep NCAA Tournament hopes alive. The importance of a first round Pac-12 Tournament bye cannot be overstated. And with nine teams in the conference all within two games of one another, it is crunch time for both the Ducks and Beavers.
Number to know: If Oregon State defeats Oregon it will be the first time the Beavers sweep the Civil War since 2009-2010.
Records: Oregon (15-9, 6-5 Pac-12), Oregon State (15-8, 7-4)
Last time: The Beavers won the Pac-12 opener for both teams this season, 77-72, on Jan. 5 at Matthew Knight Arena, their first win in Eugene since 2012. Tres Tinkle led OSU with a solid all-around game with 28 points, eight rebounds and four assists. The wounded Ducks were down to eight scholarship players with the loss of Bol Bol (season ending injury), Abu Kigab (transfer) and Kenny Wooten (broken jaw).
High Flying Ducks
Once riddled with injuries, the Ducks fly into Corvallis as healthy as they’ve been. UO is coming off a sweep of the Bay Area schools with much thanks to its defense, which held Stanford to 27.3 percent from the field. In conference play, the Ducks are second in the Pac-12 in scoring defense, a trend that must continue for Oregon to be victorious in its final seven regular season games, five of which are on the road.
Junior guard Payton Pritchard is heating up at the right time. After shooting 31.8 percent from the field in the first half of conference play, Pritchard came through for Oregon last week, improving to 15-for-29 and 7-of-13 from beyond the arc. He scored 20 points in each of those games.
Kenny Wooten (broken jaw) appears to be more comfortable wearing his face mask and continues to be the Ducks’ best rim protector. Against Stanford, he matched his career-high seven blocks to tie the fifth-best mark in UO single-game history.
Beavers to keep an eye on
In conference games, Tres Tinkle leads the Pac-12 in scoring (21.2) and is second in steals (2.1). The redshirt junior forward is only 13 points shy of 1,500 career points and has scored in double figures in 57 consecutive games, the second-longest streak in Oregon State history.
At home, Stephen Thompson Jr. is a huge threat. Thompson Jr. leads OSU with an average of 23.2 points per game in the six conference home games. Keep in mind, the senior guard holds the Oregon State record with 212 career 3-pointers.
Oregon will have its hands full with junior forward Kylor Kelley, who leads the Pac-12 and is second in the nation in blocked shots per game (3.48).
When it comes to free throws, Oregon State excels. The Beavers are shooting 74 percent from the free throw line, the best percentage in program history since 1976. 6'11" senior center Gligorije Rakocevic is shooting 83.3 percent from the free throw line in Pac-12 play. Also clutch, sophomore guard Zach Reichle is 12-for-12 from the free throw line in the final five minutes of games.
How and where to watch
Time: Saturday, Feb. 16, 7:30 p.m
Where: Gill Coliseum, Corvallis, Oregon
TV: Pac-12 Network