DATE & TIME: Thursday, February 16th, 10:30 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Haas Pavilion (11,877) -- Berkeley, California. Television: Local. Home Record: Oregon 13-3, California 15-1. Away Record: Oregon 5-3, California 4-4. Neutral Record: Oregon 0-1, California 1-1. Conference Record: Oregon 9-4, California 10-3. Series Record: California leads 78-55.
GAMES NOTES: The Oregon Ducks will look to knock the California Golden Bears off the top spot in the Pac-12 when the two meet in a key conference showdown at Haas Pavilion.
When these squads met back in early January California pounded Oregon in Eugene and took home a 77-60 victory. The win was the eighth straight for the Bears against the Ducks and pushed their all-time series lead to 78-55.
Since the loss, Oregon has been playing well in winning seven of its last nine games including back-to-back wins since a 72-71 loss to Colorado on February 4th. The Ducks are in a three way tie with Arizona and Colorado in the standings and are just a half game back of California and Washington who are tied for first in the conference. This game begins a three-game road trip for Oregon that continues against Stanford on Sunday.
California has also played well since the first meeting between these squads and has been a solid team all season with a 20-6 overall record. The Bears are currently riding a three-game winning streak, the fourth time they have had at least three straight victories this season. California will be at home for the last time in its matchup Saturday with Oregon State.
Although Oregon allowed Washington State to shoot an even 50.0 percent from the floor in the Ducks' last outing, they still managed to pull out the victory by being that much better offensively as the Ducks converted on 55.3 percent of its shots from the floor including 11-of-20 from three-point range to post the 78-69 victory.
A trio of players on the wings has led Oregon this season. Senior guard Devoe Joseph (15.7 ppg) is the leading scorer. Next is E.J. Singler (13.4 ppg, 5.6 rpg), who is also the team's leading rebounder. Garrett Sim (12.0 ppg) rounds out the trio. Both Sim and Joseph are especially dangerous from three-point range as they shoot 46.8 and 44.6 percent from beyond the arc, respectively. In the win over Washington State, the three combined for 55 points, spearheaded by Singler's game-high 23 points. The three power the Ducks, who are fourth in the conference in scoring this season at 70.6 points per game. Forwards Olu Ashalou and Carlos Emory add depth up front.
California got a satisfying win over rival UCLA in its last outing capturing a 73-63 victory at the L.A. Sports Arena. The Bears had four players in double figures and shot a solid 51.9 percent while holding the Bruins to just 39.7 percent shooting to overcome a 14 turnovers en route to the win.
The Golden Bears are just a step better offensively in terms of scoring, as they put in 72.3 points per game to rank third in the conference. California is better in terms of efficiency, knocking down 48.4 percent of its shots which is not only the Pac-12's best mark, but the 17th best field goal percentage in the nation. California also gets the majority of its scoring from a quartet of players. The top three are all in the backcourt led by Allen Crabbe (15.9 ppg), who is the fourth best scorer in the conference in scoring. Jorge Gutierrez (13.7 ppg, 4.3 apg) and Justin Cobbs (12.8 ppg, 4.6 apg) are the two other scorers in the backcourt. Harper Kamp (10.3 ppg, 5.0 rpg) is the primary threat on the front line.
This game will be a matchup of two stellar backcourts so the difference in this one will come down to which team can get the most from its front line players. California has the edge there with Kamp.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: California 80, Oregon 72
02/16 10:36:28 ET
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