BERKELEY, Calif. - It was a battle in Berkeley from start to finish. Both Oregon and CAL shot similar percentages from the field (UO- 52 %, CAL- 48%); both teams in the low 70 percent from three-point range; and both teams each pulling down 27 rebounds. But in the end, it was the senior leadership of Payton Pritchard that was too much for the Bears to handle.
No. 11 Oregon (18-4, 7-2 Pac-12) defeats CAL (9-11, 3-4 Pac-12) 77-72 in Berkeley, California.
Here are three quick takeaways from the game:
1. BATTLE OF THE BOARDS
The Ducks were out-rebounded 16-8 in the first half. Luckily for Oregon, CAL had just seven total points off rebounds. Not sure what exactly was said from head coach Dana Altman at halftime, but it must have been something along the lines of “Rebound better. Much better.” And that the Ducks did. Despite finishing tied at 27 a piece, Oregon out-rebounded CAL 19-11 in the second half.
2. ANOTHER MILESTONE FOR PAYTON PRITCHARD
With eight assists against CAL, Payton Pritchard becomes the program’s all-time leader in assists (615 and counting).
And it just so happens that the record-breaking assist was to his childhood friend and teammate Anthony Mathis.
Pritchard was held to just two points in the first half, but you knew he would not be silenced for long. Out of halftime, the Pritchard-effect took over with six immediate points and one steal.
3. SECOND HALF SURGE
Oregon went on a 17-5 run in a five-minute span late in the second half. It all started with the senior guard Pritchard. The West Linn Portland-native recorded 19 points off 6-of-10 from the field and 2-of-3 from three-point range, one steal and three rebounds all in the second half.
Pritchard is playing at a national Player of the Year caliber in his court year at Oregon. The senior is just one of three active players averaging 19.0 points, 5.0 assists and 4.0 rebounds in D1.
UP NEXT: The Ducks continue this road trip in the Bay to face Stanford (15-4, 4-2 Pac-12) on Saturday, tip-off set for 3 p.m. (PT) in Palo Alto, Calif.