No. 11 Oregon couldn’t have scripted Thursday night’s 77-72 win against California in Haas Pavilion much better.
Payton Pritchard, who broke the school’s career record for assists on a three-pointer by his lifelong friend and teammate Anthony Mathis, scored 19 of his 21 points in the second half as the Ducks remained in first place in the Pac-12 Conference at 18-4 overall and 7-2 in league play.
Pritchard also had eight assists as he became the Ducks’ all-time leader in that category with 617, passing Kenya Wilkins who had 614 from 2016-20.
“That’s something that I’m going to remember forever,” said Pritchard. “But I couldn’t have done it without a lot of great teammates hitting shots.”
Oregon made 51.9 percent from the field (27-fo-52), including 55.6 percent (10-of-18) from three-point range.
Chris Duarte added 19 points for the Ducks while Will Richardson scored 15.
How it Happened: Trailing 54-47 with 10:04 left to play, Oregon went on an extended 25-6 run over the next nine minutes to take control of the game, 72-60, with less than a minute to play.
Pritchard had 10 points during that decisive run while Mathis added six, including the three-pointer on Pritchard’s record-breaking assist with 6:55 remaining.
California (9-11, 3-4) scored 12 points in a frantic final :50, but the Ducks made five free throws to close the game out.
Trailing 13-6 early in the first half, the Ducks went on a 12-2 run to take an 18-15 lead with 10:17 remaining. Richardson had five points during that run, while C.J. Walker, Pritchard and Duarte all added field goals.
The Ducks led 25-20 on three Duarte free throws with 7:58 remaining, but both offenses struggled the rest of the half. The teams were tied 32-32 at intermission.
Duarte led Oregon with 13 points in the first half, while Richardson added 10.