Eugene, OR – In the regular season finale, the No. 13-ranked Oregon Ducks faced off against the Stanford Cardinal Saturday night at Matthew Knight Arena with a chance to clinch the outright Pac-12 title in front of 10,862 fams. Stanford was looking to sweep the season series. On February 1st, the Cardinal pulled away late in the contest against the Ducks with a 70-60 win in part to holding Oregon to just 33 percent shooting. The Cardinal ranks number one in the Pac-12 in scoring defense holding their opponents to 61.9 points per game. In addition, according to KenPom.com, they are the sixth most efficient defense in the country. The Ducks flipped the script on senior night as they shot 57 percent from the field and hit ten triples. Payton Pritchard scored 21 second half points and stopped every push the visitors made with big play after big play down the stretch to give the Ducks an 80-67 victory over the Cardinal. The win gave Oregon its third regular season title in the past five seasons and the No. 1 seed in the upcoming Pac-12 Tournament in Las Vegas.
In the first half, both squads displayed accurate shooting from the field, especially from the perimeter with the Cardinal hitting on 5-of-7 and the Ducks 5-for-9. Junior Daejon Davis led Stanford with 11 first half points, hitting on all three attempts from beyond the arc. He finished with 13 points (5-of-9) in all and dished out seven assists. While Davis performed well, Oregon’s defense shut down the Cardinal’s second leading scorer, Tyrell Terry. The freshman had an off night shooting, making just 2-of-9 from the field scoring only six points.
The starting backcourt for Oregon put up huge numbers throughout the game as they combined to score 55 of the team’s 80 points. Senior Anthony Mathis who was recently inserted back into the starting line-up hit four 3s. Mathis, a grad transfer, chipped in 14 points (5-for-7 FG). Will Richardson played well on both ends of the floor. He was flying everywhere on defense, using his quick hands to strip the ball from his opponents to generate four steals. On the offensive end, he was strong going left with the ability to hang and finish multiple times at the rim. Richardson posted 12 points (5-of-11 FG) and four rebounds.
Pritchard will go down as one of the most decorated players in Oregon history and has had one of the best seasons for any player in Pac-12 history. The Cousy and Wooden Award Finalist is the only player in the nation to average more than 20 points per game, four rebounds and five assists. Pritchard managed to score eight points in the opening half even though he was sidelined for a brief period due to receiving his second foul. In the second half, Pritchard was unstoppable. The 6-2, 190 pounder, showcased his array of moves and the ability to shoot from anywhere on the court. In his final career home game, he scored 29 points (8-for-16 FG), pulled down six rebounds and added five assists.
It was a game of scoring runs in the second half. The Ducks would extend their lead often, but the Cardinal continued fighting back to get within reach. Oregon extended the lead to 15 points at 57-42 with 10:53 remaining and looked to put the game out of reach. Oscar Da Silva, a 6-9 junior, was more aggressive attacking the hoop in the second half for Stanford. His strength inside was challenging for the Ducks to contain. He had a team high 18 points on 7-for-15 shooting while grabbing seven rebounds. Spencer Jones, a 6-7 forward, hit some big 3s late in the contest including sinking all three free throws after getting fouled on a three pointer from the wing. Jones’ free throws would cut the lead to seven with only three minutes remaining. He scored 15 points on a very efficient 4-of-5 from beyond the arc. Jones and Silva’s efforts kept the Cardinal within reach of a comeback, but the Ducks always countered with a basket of their own.
Oregon’s bench pitched in 17 points on the night with two freshmen, Addison Patterson and N’Faly Dante, scoring nine and eight points respectively. The Ducks also out-rebounded the Cardinal on the night by a 28-20 margin. Oregon now has won four games in a row and have an increased chance to potentially move up into a three seed in the upcoming NCAA Tournament.
Oregon (24-7, 13-5) will get a first round bye in the Pac-12 tournament in Las Vegas as they look to become back-to-back tournament champions. Stanford (20-11, 9-9) will take on California in the first round (13-18, 7-11).
We are looking for those interested in our basketball scout certification program. For information contact us and forward your resume.