California (10-4) at (17) Oregon (13-1)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Thursday, January 9, 11 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Matthew Knight Arena (12,364) -- Eugene, Oregon. Television: FS1. Home Record: Cal 8-0, Oregon 9-0. Away Record: Cal 1-2, Oregon 2-1. Neutral Record: Cal 1-2, Oregon 2-0. Conference Record: Cal 1-0, Oregon 1-1. Series Record: California leads, 82-55.
GAME NOTES: The 17th-ranked Oregon Ducks will attempt to rebound from their first loss of the season when they entertain the California Golden Bears in a Pac-12 Conference showdown on Thursday night.
California picked up a 69-62 win at local rival Stanford last Thursday to improve to 10-4 overall and 1-0 in conference. It was actually the second straight victory for the Golden Bears, who also notched their first true road win in the contest. Cal will play one more game on the road, this Saturday at Oregon State, before returning home for two straight against both conference teams from the state of Washington.
Oregon ran out to an impressive 13-0 start, but recently suffered its first setback as the nationally-ranked Colorado Buffaloes continued their solid run by grounding the visiting Ducks in a 100-91 final this past Sunday. UO is 9-0 at home this season, and the team will be back in action at Matthew Knight Arena this Sunday when the other Pac-12 team from the Bay Area, Stanford, comes to town.
California owns an 82-55 lead in the all-time series with Oregon, and the Bears have dominated the proceedings of late, winning the last 11 meetings. The Ducks' last win over the Bears was a 92-70 decision in Berkeley on Feb. 9, 2008.
Balance has been Cal's calling card this season, as the team boasts five double-digit scorers, each of whom helps it net 74.2 ppg behind typical shooting efforts of .456 overall and .333 from 3-point range. Justin Cobbs paces the squad with 14.4 ppg, and he also serves as its primary playmaker with 5.9 apg -- that latter figure ranking him 23rd in the country this week. The remaining quartet of offensive-minded performers puts up between 11.3 and 11.6 ppg, and Richard Solomon is averaging a double-double with 11.5 and 10.5 rebounds per game. From a defensive standpoint, the Golden Bears permit 66.4 ppg, with foes shooting just 40.8 percent from the field, which includes a 35.4 percent showing from beyond the arc. Cal owns a +5.1 in rebounding differential.
Tyrone Wallace drained four 3-pointers on his way to a game-high 20 points to help lead California past Stanford in the team's Pac-12 opener last week. Cobbs added 18 points and five assists, while Solomon posted another double- double by tallying 14 points and 13 rebounds. As a team, the Bears made good on 45.5 percent of their long-range launches, while earning a 16-10 edge in points from the foul line. Conversely, the Cardinal converted only 4-of-14 3- point tries, and shot just 36.4 percent from the floor over the final 20 minutes.
Oregon is among the top teams in the country with regard to scoring average (89.4 ppg), field goal percentage (.496), 3-point field goal percentage (.414) and free-throw percentage (.761). The team's defensive yield allows the opposition 76.1 ppg, although they are connecting on only 42.6 percent of their total shots, which includes a mere 30.1 percent of their long-range attempts. Joseph Young paces the team with 19.1 ppg, shooting 53.0 percent from the floor in the process. Mike Moser brings 13.9 points and a club-best 7.6 rebounds per game to the table, while Damyean Dotson and Jason Calliste round out the unit's double-digit scorers with 11.6 and 11.4 ppg, respectively.
Moser poured in 24 points, and Young and Dotson had 16 apiece, but those efforts went for naught as Oregon dropped a nine-point decision at Colorado last weekend. The Ducks were a rather pedestrian 42.3 percent accurate from the field, while the Buffaloes were a much more efficient 56.4 percent. The home team won the game thanks primarily to its 33-of-39 effort at the charity stripe.
While the Golden Bears aren't about to go into hibernation simply because they're playing a ranked foe on the road, expect the Ducks to regain some of their swagger as they make amends for their recent loss, and snap what has been a lengthy losing streak in the series with this particular Pac-12 rival.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Oregon 85, California 77
01/09 10:33:12 ET