Eugene, OR – The No. 6-ranked Oregon Ducks were in complete control from the opening tip in their last game prior to the start of Pac-12 conference play. Chris Duarte led the way scoring a career-high 31 points to lead the Ducks to a 98-59 victory over the visiting Alabama State Hornets at Matthew Knight Arena.
Payton Pritchard knocked down a 3-pointer from the left wing to give the Ducks an early lead and they never looked back. Pritchard finished the night with five points, five rebounds and a game high nine assists. Prior to the game, Pritchard was the only player in the nation to average 19 points, four rebounds and six assists. Today, his scoring was not a factor though he helped to set up his teammates for open looks, especially passing to Duarte and Anthony Mathis who combined to score 46 points.
Duarte, a shooting guard, who was a NJCAA First-Team All American last season, shot lights out, going 12-of-15 from the field.. He displayed the ability to drive strong to the hoop and consistently hit mid-range jumpers. But Duarte did most of his damage from the 3-point line, hitting six 3-pointers throughout the game. The 6-5 junior had a great overall game, not only in the scoring category but by adding six rebounds and six assists while only turning the ball over one time. Mathis, a senior, showed why he is one of the best shooters in the country by scoring 15 points on 6-for-10 shooting. Thus far in the season, Mathis is shooting 50 percent from the 3-point line and is currently ranked 6th among Division-1 players.
Oregon’s pressure defense forced the Hornets into 20 turnovers and they converted those mistakes into 29 points. Sophomore Will Richardson played a key role in causing turnovers by totaling six steals on the night. Richardson who has been a productive bench player this season put in 10 points (3-of-11 FG) to go along with five assists and three rebounds. Another productive player off the bench for Oregon was 6-10 true freshman Chandler Lawson who pulled in a team high eight rebounds and scored eight points (4-for-5 FG).
Alabama State has played every game this season on the road or a neutral court and struggled to handle the size and speed of the Ducks. The Hornets, who fought until the end, were led by junior forward Brandon Battle who dropped in 14 points and grabbed a game-high nine rebounds. Leading scorer Tobi Ewuosho ended the contest with 13 points, one below his season average, hitting 5-of-11 shots.
Oregon (11-2) will go on the road next Thursday to face the Colorado Buffaloes (11-2) to start the Pac-12 Conference season. Alabama State (1-12) will have yet another road game against Jackson State (3-9).
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