Oregon looks to keep its hopes of a first-round bye in the Pac-12 tournament alive when the Ducks host last-place California on Thursday night.
The Ducks (16-13, 10-8 Pac-12) are currently alone in fifth place in the league, one game behind Arizona State. Oregon needs to sweep its final two regular-season games against Cal (3-26, 2-16) and Stanford to have a chance at a top-four seed in the conference tourney in Las Vegas.
Oregon avoided a major misstep last Saturday when the Ducks escaped with a 69-67 win over rival Oregon State.
N’Faly Dante had 16 points and a career-high 18 rebounds to lead the Ducks, who secured the victory on Rivaldo Soares’ game-winning bucket with 0.7 seconds left.
Oregon led by 10 early in the second half before allowing the Beavers to make a late rally.
“We’re just going to have to get some things ironed out and be ready Thursday night,” said Oregon coach Dana Altman. “Hopefully, play better. Get back home, get a couple really good games, and then go to Vegas against whomever we play and see what we can make happen.”
Oregon senior point guard Will Richardson played against the Beavers after battling hip, hand and finger injuries earlier in the week. Richardson finished with five points and seven assists in 31 minutes.
Oregon has won 10 of the last 11 meetings against Cal, including an 87-58 victory in Berkeley on Jan. 18.
Cal lost its 13th straight game on Saturday, falling 63-57 to Washington State. Joel Brown had 13 points, nine assists and seven rebounds to lead the Bears, who had a 12-game losing streak to begin the season.
Brown chose to remain optimistic despite his team’s dismal record.
“There’s something you can gain from this,” Brown said. “Adversity happens and it tests your character. So it’s just about how you react and bounce back. For the whole team it’s a tough situation with the record, but I’ve learned a lot just looking at myself in the mirror and just understanding, I’m playing basketball … this is what I love doing.”
–Field Level Media