Eugene, OR – Oregon won their second straight home game as they completed a sweep of the Arizona schools, pulling away in the second half in a 73-47 win before 11,339 fans in Eugene. Louis King (14 points), Payton Pritchard (12 points), Will Richardson (12 points) and Francis Okoro (10 points) all scored in double figures as the Ducks used balanced scoring to get the win with eight players scoring five points or more. Dylan Smith led Arizona (17-13, 8-9) with 14 points. Oregon (17-12) got back to 8-8 in the Pac-12 with two games remaining as they try to better their seeding in the conference tournament.
Coming off one of their better efforts of the season in a 28-point win over Arizona State, Oregon came out flat, missed their first seven shots and feel behind Arizona 9-0. The Ducks came storming back on a 25-5 run, to take a 25-14 lead helped by eight points from King, five from Miles Norris and four from Will Richardson, all freshmen. Arizona committed ten turnovers before Oregon committed their first one. Arizona stayed close helped by solid shooting from distance as they connected on 7of-12 overall with Dylan Smith hitting 3-of-4. Freshman Devonaire Doutrive, the hero of Arizona’s buzzer-beating two-point win over Oregon State on Thursday night nailed a three-pointer to put the Wildcats up 31-28. Oregon’s Paul White tied the game at 31 at the half with a three with 41 seconds left. Arizona committed 12 first half turnovers to Oregon’s one. Arizona held a 23-15 rebounding edge at the half as the Ducks shot only 34 percent from the field and missed 25 total shots.
In the second half Oregon had a 36-35 lead when Ryan Luther was called for a foul as he contested a Kenny Wooten shot inside. Luther was also called for a technical foul, his fourth personal foul, as the Ducks made three of the four foul attempts to take a 39-35 lead. Okoro followed with two baskets, including a nice hook shot, to give the Ducks an eight-point lead. Okoro scored on two more quick post moves to put Oregon up 51-40. Oregon extended the lead to 16 points on a Pritchard corner three-pointer. Pritchard went coast-to-coast on a lay-up to put the Ducks up 60-42 and they coasted to the win from there. Arizona went cold in the second half, missing their first nine three-point attempts and 22 of their first 26 shot attempts. Oregon outscored Arizona 42-16 in the second half.
The Wildcats ended the half shooting 19.2 percent (5-of-26) from the field including 8.3 percent (1-of-12) from distance. The Ducks committed only five turnovers in the game compared to 18 for Arizona. Oregon killed Arizona in the paint with a 36-14 scoring advantage. It was Arizona’s lowest scoring effort of the season as the Wildcats only managed 101 total points in two losses to the Ducks this year. Coach Dana Altman felt that “it was their best effort of the season”.
Oregon’s Okoro and Richardson were particularly effective tonight. Okoro had his second straight strong game, showing new confidence in his post moves. He was strong and decisive in making his offensive moves in the paint, connecting on five baskets, including four in a five and a half minute period in the second half. He rebounded strongly, ending the contest with a team-high seven boards (tied with King). Richardson was effective in his time running the point, hitting 5-of-7 shots including a three-pointer and added three assists against only one turnover.
Oregon will try to extend their better play as they finish the regular season with a trip to Washington, first facing Washington State on Wednesday night. The Wildcats will complete their regular season with a home contest against Arizona State next Saturday.