Payton Pritchard scored 24 points and No. 15 Oregon overcame a sluggish start for a 71-57 season-opening win over Fresno State on Tuesday night in Eugene, Oregon.
Pritchard, a senior, recorded his 14th career 20-point game and added seven assists and seven rebounds as the Ducks pulled away in the second half after taking an 11-point lead into halftime.
Guard Chris Duarte, last season’s national junior college player of the year, scored 16 points in 33 minutes in his Oregon debut. Francis Okoro added 10 points and 10 rebounds for the Ducks, last season’s Pac-12 tournament champions and Sweet 16 participants in the NCAA Tournament.
Oregon led by as many as 21 in the second half, but the Bulldogs (0-1) made a run and cut into the lead down the stretch. They could only get as close as nine points.
Senior Nate Grimes, the top returning scorer from last season’s Fresno State team, led the Bulldogs with 13 points. No other Bulldog scored in double figures.
Aguir Agau’s steal and pass to Jarred Hyder for a layup got Fresno State to within nine points, 64-55, with 4:08 left to play. But the Ducks went on a 7-2 run to close out the game.
Duarte made Oregon’s only 3-point basket of the game as the Ducks sank just 1 of 13 and missed all five attempts in the second half.
The Ducks dominated the boards with a 45-31 edge and in points in the paint, 40-16. Fresno State didn’t make a single field goal after Hyder’s layup.
Ducks head coach Dana Altman won his 236th career game as Oregon’s head coach, setting the record for most wins in school history. Oregon won its 22nd straight home opener and is 10-0 against Fresno State at home.
—Field Level Media