Eugene, OR – The No. 12-ranked Oregon Ducks got a huge double-overtime win against the USC Trojans Thursday night at Mathew Knight Arena. Payton Pritchard and Chris Duarte scored 16 of the team’s 17 points in the extra periods to rally the Ducks to a 79-70 victory in front of 7,497 fans.
Oregon built a comfortable 42-32 lead after a 10-0 run with 16:07 remaining in the game. The run was completed with a Pritchard steal and alley-oop to Duarte that got the crowd on their feet. During the scoring run, Pritchard got his 600th assist. He becomes the first player in Pac-12 history to record more than 1,500 points, 600 assists and 500 rebounds. The senior shot 8-for-20 from the field, scoring 24 points, and dished out seven assists. He only turned the ball over two times in 46 minutes of action.
The Trojans were fighting to maintain their spot atop the conference. They were down 11 points with 8:01 remaining before going on a 17-2 run led by standout true freshman Onyeka Okongwu and senior Jonah Mathews. Okongwu, a potential first round pick in the upcoming 2020 draft was a handful for the Ducks defense, especially in the second half. USC went to a high low game to feed the big man over the top for easy baskets. The standout power forward tallied 23 points (7-of-13 FG), ripped down 14 rebounds and blocked six shots. In overtime, Okongwu was not a factor as his teammates had a hard time feeding him the ball. He recorded his seventh double-double on the year.
Mathews, near the end of regulation with the shot clock winding down, pulled up to hit a big 3-pointer to extend the Trojan’s lead to four with 1:24 remaining. He played a key role in the comeback by hitting on 3-of-5 from beyond the arc in the second half. Mathews was plagued with foul trouble early, but managed to score 13 points (4-for-12 FG) in the contest including the big shot that many thought sealed the win for USC.
After Mathews’ 3-pointer, Oregon came back down quickly with CJ Walker (7 points) penetrating and scoring on a tough lay-in in the paint to cut the lead down to two with under a minute to play. After a missed shot by the Trojans, Pritchard received the outlet and raced down the court beating his defender and scoring on a clutch basket in the paint to tie the game. Oregon had a chance to win after stealing the in-bounds pass, but Okongwu’s blocked shot sent the game into overtime. It was the second overtime game in a row for Ducks as they won last Saturday on Pritchard’s go-ahead 3-pointer against Washington.
Chris Duarte had a career night as he was the catalyst in the second overtime to lock the win for Oregon. His clutch 3-pointer in the second overtime off a Pritchard assist put the Ducks up by six with under three minutes remaining. Duarte scored a game high 30 points (9-for-20 FG) and pulled down a career high 11 rebounds. In addition, on the defensive end he displayed the ability to get in the passing lane, intercepting multiple passes from the Trojans in route to scoring in transition. He was two steals shy of tallying a triple-double. The junior guard amassed an incredible eight steals. Duarte became the first player to record a 30-point, 11-rebound, 8-steal game at the Division 1 level in over 20 years. The tandem of Duarte and Pritchard was too much for the Trojans as they combined to score 54 points.
Oregon (16-4, 5-2) will take on UCLA (10-9, 3-3) at home this Sunday afternoon. USC (15-4, 4-2) will look for a split against the Oregon schools when they tip off Saturday against Oregon State (12-7, 2-5).
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