Ducks Look Flat In Loss To Cal
EUGENE, Ore. — Recent momentum for the Oregon men's basketball team was nowhere to be seen Saturday afternoon in a 78-64 loss to California in Matthew Knight Arena.
The Ducks (16-8, 9-4 Pac-12) had won 10 of their last 11, but they allowed a 24-0 run by the Golden Bears in the first half and missed 16 straight three-point attempts in one stretch that lasted 30:10 of game time. The UO men trailed by double digits throughout the second half to Cal (11-15, 4-11), which doubled its conference win total by sweeping OSU and Oregon on the road for the first time since 2014.
"It was a flat effort," UO coach Dana Altman said. "We came out and gave them easy baskets to start the game. They got rolling, and we could never get it stopped. And then on offense our ball movement wasn't good, we missed some open shots and maybe tightened up a bit. ... We didn't do anything required to stay in the game."
How It Happened: The Ducks were actually sharp in the opening minutes, scoring on four straight possessions to lead 10-5. That stretch included a three-point play by De'Vion Harmon and a made three-pointer by Quincy Guerrier. But the UO men missed their next 16 three-pointers, lasting until midway into the second half. And after Guerrier scored out of a timeout to give the Ducks a 12-5 lead, Cal proceeded to score 24 straight points.
The Ducks went 8:38 without scoring, with 10 missed field-goal attempts during the run. They missed threes, missed at the rim, turned it over and couldn't get stops at the other end. "We got stuck on 12," Altman said, "for about two hours, I think."
Rivaldo Soares finally scored for Oregon to end the run. That got the Ducks within 15 at 29-14, but a dunk by Cal to close the half put Oregon in a 38-22 hole and the Ducks didn't make a basket in the second half until there was just 11:39 left in the game.
"The last four minutes of the first half, first four minutes of the second half, we had to make a move," Altman said. "And we didn't."
Will Richardson finally ended the streak of missed threes by hitting one with 7:55 left in the game, cutting Cal's lead to 51-40. But the Golden Bears immediately answered with a three of their own at the other end, and Oregon's best chance to close within single digits was lost.
Who Stood Out: Richardson tried to put the Ducks on his back late in the game and finished with 22 points and nine rebounds, though he also had seven turnovers before fouling out. Guerrier finished with 15 points and Harmon added 11, on a combined 4-of-16 three-point shooting. Coming off an encouraging performance in Thursday's win over Stanford, Oregon's bigs were quiet Saturday, with N'Faly Dante and Franck Kepnang combining for six points, seven rebounds and two blocks in 26 minutes.
What It Means: Previously projected as a No. 10 seed for the NCAA Tournament by Joe Lunardi of ESPN and Jerry Palm of CBS Sports, Oregon could be on the outside looking in when those projections are updated with Saturday's loss taken into account.
"We've got opportunities," Altman said, noting upcoming matchups with Washington State, UCLA and Arizona that can help Oregon's résumé. "But we're going to have to play a heck of a lot better and a heck of a lot more together."
Up Next: The Ducks host Washington State on Monday (6 p.m., ESPNU).