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Oregon Ducks men's basketball defeats Oregon State

The Register-Guard logo The Register-Guard 2/28/2020 By Steve Mims, The Register-Guard, Eugene, Ore.
a man holding his hands up: Oregon head coach Dana Altman directs his players during the first half against Oregon State in their Pac12 matchup at Matthew Knight Arena. [Andy Nelson/The Register-Guard] - registerguard.com © Andy Nelson/The Register-Guard - registerguard.com/The Register-Guard, Eugene, Ore./TNS Oregon head coach Dana Altman directs his players during the first half against Oregon State in their Pac12 matchup at Matthew Knight Arena. [Andy Nelson/The Register-Guard] - registerguard.com

It didn't look like it at the time, but Oregon's 96-75 win over UCLA last month may have been the Pac-12 title game.

Following a night when three title contenders lost, the Ducks are back in first place in the conference following a 69-54 win over Oregon State in front of 10,098 Thursday night at Matthew Knight Arena. Oregon and UCLA are tied for the top spot at 11-5 with Arizona State one-half game back at 10-5 following a last-second loss to the Bruins.

a group of men playing a game of basketball: Oregon State's Kylor Kelley blocks the shot of Oregon's Shakur Juiston during the first half of their Pac12 matchup at Matthew Knight Arena. [Andy Nelson/The Register-Guard] - registerguard.com © Andy Nelson/The Register-Guard - registerguard.com/The Register-Guard, Eugene, Ore./TNS Oregon State's Kylor Kelley blocks the shot of Oregon's Shakur Juiston during the first half of their Pac12 matchup at Matthew Knight Arena. [Andy Nelson/The Register-Guard] - registerguard.com

No. 14 Oregon (22-7) will root for more carnage over the weekend as it waits to return to its home court against California on Thursday. The Ducks close out the regular against Stanford on Saturday.

"There is a lot of ball to be played," UO coach Dana Altman said. "We've got two more games and California popped Colorado and played us tough and Stanford beat us and Utah. We don't have anything easy in front of us. We need to take care of business and let them beat each other up. We got our road games out of the way early so it is nice to finish at home."

a man standing in front of a crowd: Oregon's Payton Pritchard reacts after he made 3-pointer in the first half of the Ducks' Pac12 matchup against Oregon State at Matthew Knight Arena. [Andy Nelson/The Register-Guard] - registerguard.com © Andy Nelson/The Register-Guard - registerguard.com/The Register-Guard, Eugene, Ore./TNS Oregon's Payton Pritchard reacts after he made 3-pointer in the first half of the Ducks' Pac12 matchup against Oregon State at Matthew Knight Arena. [Andy Nelson/The Register-Guard] - registerguard.com

Oregon has the head-to-head tiebreaker over the Bruins, who have won eight of nine games since the loss to the Ducks. The Ducks split the season series with Arizona State, which is also guaranteed at least a share of the conference title if it wins out.

"We've got to take care of our business and not worry about anyone else," Oregon senior guard Anthony Mathis said. "We need to get better as a team every day and there is work to do. We have to get better as a team every day. We have two good teams coming in that gave us good games so we have got to get prepared for sure."

The preparation in practice will wait until Sunday.

"Coach said we got two days off if we won," Mathis said. "We get to relax a bit and take care of our bodies for two days. ... I don't think we've had that since I've been here."

Time off was the reward for snapping a three-game losing streak in the Civil War.

"I threatened them that if we won, we got Friday and Saturday off, but if not, we were practicing," Altman said. "You've got to motivate them some way. Now they don't have to see me for two days so they are excited about that."

a man holding a basketball: Oregon's Francis Okoro is fouled by Oregon State's Zach Reichle during the first half of their Pac12 matchup at Matthew Knight Arena. [Andy Nelson/The Register-Guard] - registerguard.com © Andy Nelson/The Register-Guard - registerguard.com/The Register-Guard, Eugene, Ore./TNS Oregon's Francis Okoro is fouled by Oregon State's Zach Reichle during the first half of their Pac12 matchup at Matthew Knight Arena. [Andy Nelson/The Register-Guard] - registerguard.com

The negative news on Thursday was the absence of junior guard Chris Duarte, who is out indefinitely with a broken finger suffered in practice earlier in the month. He played through the injury for three weeks before having a procedure done on Thursday.

a man standing in front of a crowd: Oregon's Will Richardson and Shakur Juiston work to defend Oregon State's Ethan Thompson during the first half of their Pac12 matchup at Matthew Knight Arena. [Andy Nelson/The Register-Guard] - registerguard.com © Andy Nelson/The Register-Guard - registerguard.com/The Register-Guard, Eugene, Ore./TNS Oregon's Will Richardson and Shakur Juiston work to defend Oregon State's Ethan Thompson during the first half of their Pac12 matchup at Matthew Knight Arena. [Andy Nelson/The Register-Guard] - registerguard.com

"He played five games, but couldn't do it any more and got it fixed," Altman said. "Now it is a matter of when the doctors release him."

Mathis got the start in place of Duarte and made three 3-pointers in the first half before finishing with 13 points.

a person holding a basketball: Oregon's N'faly Dante takes a charge from Oregon State's Tres Tinkle during the first half of their Pac12 matchup at Matthew Knight Arena. [Andy Nelson/The Register-Guard] - registerguard.com © Andy Nelson/The Register-Guard - registerguard.com/The Register-Guard, Eugene, Ore./TNS Oregon's N'faly Dante takes a charge from Oregon State's Tres Tinkle during the first half of their Pac12 matchup at Matthew Knight Arena. [Andy Nelson/The Register-Guard] - registerguard.com

"I am finally starting to get back into the flow," Mathis said. "I stayed in the gym and kept getting reps."

Payton Pritchard scored 15 of his game-high 23 points in the second half as Oregon outscored the Beavers 40-29. Will Richardson scored all 15 of his points in the second half.

Oregon State guard Ethan Thompson made 5-of-6 shots in the first half while scoring 13 points as the Beavers went to the locker room trailing 29-25. The OSU point guard had two points in the second half.

a group of baseball players playing a game of basketball: Oregon's Franis Okoro and Will Richardson surround Oregon State's Kylor Kelley during the first half of their Pac12 matchup at Matthew Knight Arena. [Andy Nelson/The Register-Guard] - registerguard.com © Andy Nelson/The Register-Guard - registerguard.com/The Register-Guard, Eugene, Ore./TNS Oregon's Franis Okoro and Will Richardson surround Oregon State's Kylor Kelley during the first half of their Pac12 matchup at Matthew Knight Arena. [Andy Nelson/The Register-Guard] - registerguard.com

"Ethan put it on us in the first half and our coaches had a good call to start doubling him on ball screens," Altman said. "That got the ball out of his hands a bit. Our guys flew around a lot better in the second half."

a person holding a basketball: Oregon State's Gianni Hunt eyes the ball as Oregon's Payton Pritchard steps on his wrist during a scramble in the second half on Thursday. [Andy Nelson/The Register-Guard] - registerguard.com © Andy Nelson/The Register-Guard - registerguard.com/The Register-Guard, Eugene, Ore./TNS Oregon State's Gianni Hunt eyes the ball as Oregon's Payton Pritchard steps on his wrist during a scramble in the second half on Thursday. [Andy Nelson/The Register-Guard] - registerguard.com

Oregon opened the second half with a 22-4 run to avoid being swept by its in-state rival for the second year in a row.

"We couldn't lose to them four times in a row," sophomore forward Francis Okoro said. "We had to come out and play as hard as we could and at least get them once."

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Oregon's Payton Pritchard reacts after making 3-point shot over Oregon State's Gianni Hunt as the shot clock expired to give the Ducks a 45-28 lead over the Beavers in the second half. [Andy Nelson/The Register-Guard] - registerguard.com © Andy Nelson/The Register-Guard - registerguard.com/The Register-Guard, Eugene, Ore./TNS Oregon's Payton Pritchard reacts after making 3-point shot over Oregon State's Gianni Hunt as the shot clock expired to give the Ducks a 45-28 lead over the Beavers in the second half. [Andy Nelson/The Register-Guard] - registerguard.com a group of people playing a game of basketball: Oregon State's Tres Tinkle is fouled by Oregon's Chandler Lawson as he drives to the basket during the first half on Thursday. [Andy Nelson/The Register-Guard] - registerguard.com © Andy Nelson/The Register-Guard - registerguard.com/The Register-Guard, Eugene, Ore./TNS Oregon State's Tres Tinkle is fouled by Oregon's Chandler Lawson as he drives to the basket during the first half on Thursday. [Andy Nelson/The Register-Guard] - registerguard.com
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