March 8, 2020 / 6:35 AM / 23 days ago

Pritchard leads No. 13 Oregon to Pac-12 title, beating Stanford

EditorsNote: Lowers the d in da Silva in Graf 7; other minor edits

Mar 7, 2020; Eugene, Oregon, USA;Oregon Ducks players huddle together in the tunnel prior to the game against the Stanford Cardinal at Matthew Knight Arena. Mandatory Credit: Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports

Payton Pritchard scored 29 points, grabbed six rebounds and dished five assists, and No. 13-ranked Oregon celebrated an outright Pac-12 Conference championship with its 80-67 defeat of Stanford on Saturday in Eugene, Ore.

On Senior Night, Pritchard, the All-American candidate, came alive in the second half. He scored 21 points after intermission — three of which came on a pull-up, fast-break 3-pointer that gave Oregon (24-7, 13-5) a 10-point lead with 13:42 remaining.

The Ducks held a double-digit-point lead for much of the remainder of the game. Stanford (20-11, 9-9) closed the gap to seven points on three occasions in the final 3:16, but Oregon answered every brief Cardinal run.

Anthony Mathis shot 4-of-6 from 3-point range and scored 14 points for the Ducks. Will Richardson scored 12 points and made four steals. N’Faly Dante added another two steals and scored eight points off the bench on 4-of-4 shooting from the floor.

The story of the night, however, was Pritchard. The four-year starter said farewell to Matthew Knight Arena with an electrifying performance, his fourth straight game with at least 20 points, and his fifth in the last six games.

He put the finishing touches on a resume that has garnered national Player of the Year consideration, and more importantly, elevated Oregon to the regular-season Pac-12 championship. UCLA lost earlier in the day at USC, when a Bruins win would have ensured Oregon no better than a share of the title. Instead, the UCLA loss opened the door for the Ducks, who claimed their first outright title since 2015-16.

Oscar da Silva led Stanford with 18 points and seven rebounds. Spencer Jones shot 4 of 5 from behind the 3-point arc and finished with 15 points. Daejon Davis added 13 points and a game-high seven assists, and Bryce Willis scored 10 points for the Cardinal.

As the No. 7 seed, Stanford will play No. 10 Cal in the first round of the Pac-12 tournament on Wednesday. On Thursday, top-seeded Oregon draws the winner of Oregon State and Utah in Las Vegas.

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