In its final tune-up before competition gets tougher, Oregon struggled early against Ball State. Eventually, the Ducks settled down on defense, and thanks to Payton Pritchard’s career-high 20 points, defeated the pesky Cardinals 95-71 on Sunday in Eugene, Ore.
Pritchard continued his strong start to the season as he added eight assists with no turnovers. Elijah Brown and Victor Bailey Jr. made key contributions off the Oregon bench, scoring 17 and 16 points, respectively. Mikyle McIntosh was limited with foul trouble but finished with 13 points, while Paul White had 11 points.
Tayler Persons scored 14 points and Kyler Maller added 10 for the Cardinals (1-3).
The Ducks were slow to get rolling. Ball State went on an 11-0 run midway through the first half to take a 29-24 lead, prompting an Oregon timeout.
The Ducks responded out of the break, erupting for a 16-0 run to go into the break leading 42-33. Brown had six of Oregon’s 16 points, showing off a range of outside shooting combined with the ability to get to the rim.
Brown finished the game 6 of 11 from the floor and 3 of 5 on 3-point attempts.
Oregon put the game away early in the second half as it used a 14-2 run to build a lead the Cardinals couldn’t overcome.
As a team, the Ducks are undersized, but their athleticism allowed them to outrebound Ball State 45-31.
Now sitting at 4-0 with all victories coming against inferior foes, Oregon will travel to Portland to take place in the bracket portion of the inaugural Phil Knight 80 Invitational. Competition increases as the Ducks could see No. 2 Michigan State, No. 9 North Carolina or Oklahoma.
Oregon beings PK80 action on Thanksgiving, when it faces UConn in a game that will air on ESPNU.