It is a tight race at the top of the Pac-12 standings with four teams tied for first and the Oregon Ducks just half a game out of first. Coming off a loss at Arizona State on Thursday night, the Ducks were going to need every bit of offense and a valiant effort on defense against the Arizona Wildcats in Tucson on Saturday.
Well, the offense was there, but only from Payton Pritchard, who dropped a new career-high 38 points.
Arizona’s Josh Green missed two free throws with five seconds left and this game was headed for overtime (the second time this season these two teams needed overtime to determine a winner).
In overtime, all nine points came from Shakur Juiston. That took immense pressure off of Pritchard on the offensive end. An offensive rebound from Will Richardson and drive to his left drew two Arizona players leaving Juiston open under the basket for a layup that put Oregon up by one with 1.4 seconds left. Game over.
No. 14 Oregon (21-7, 10-5 Pac-12) survives in OT over No. 24 Arizona (19-8, 9-5 Pac-12) and moves into a tie for second in the Pac-12 conference standings with UCLA and No. 18 Colorado.
FINAL SCORE (OT): Oregon 73, Arizona 72
Here are three quick takeaways from the game:
1. BIG TIME PRITCHARD
Payton Pritchard opened up the game with a three-pointer, and then scored the next four points for Oregon. He scored 10 of Oregon’s first 13 points.
“It’s like having Steph Curry on your team,” said Bill Walton on the call.
Well, maybe not exactly but Pritchard was feeling it tonight. He pored in a new career high 38 points hitting 12-of-27 from the field and 6-of-14 from 3-PT range.
He scored just under half of Oregon’s total points.
@fastpp3 i remember seeing this kid play in jr high thinking “holy crap this kid can play” seeing the success he’s had in college is amazing and super proud of the PORTLAND kid.— Channing Frye (@channingfrye) February 23, 2020
Pritchard is averaging 19.4 points, 5.6 assists and 4.3 rebounds per game in his senior season.
2. ANTHONY MATHIS
Head coach Dana Altman has a big weapon in Anthony Mathis coming off the bench. Mathis has the ability to hit the outside shot and when he does, feed him the ball. Against Arizona, he and Pritchard kept Oregon in the game early hitting 3-of-5 from 3-PT range in the first half and finished with 11 points.
Mathis Pritchard were the only two Ducks to finish in double figures in regulation time.
3. OVERTIME JUISTON
Redshirt senior Shakur Juiston just needed an overtime period to get it going on the offensive end. Before overtime, he recorded just five points, but score all of Oregon’s points in overtime (9) and finished with 14.
Arizona went 10-for-21 from the free throw line, including missing two late in regulation and missing two with one second left in overtime.
UP NEXT: It’s Civil War part two against rival Oregon State (15-12, 5-10 Pac-12) on Thursday, Feb. 27 at 8 p.m. (PT) at Matthew Knight Arena.