Oregon will be looking to take a five-game winstreak into the Christmas break when it welcomes Central Arkansas to Eugene onWednesday night. It also will serve as the non-conference finale for the Ducks,who will then have nine days off prior to their Dec. 29 Pac-12 opener againstUtah.
Coach Dana Altman’s squad dropped back-to-backgames against Oklahoma and Boise State three weeks ago but has since respondedwith wins over Colorado State (95-65), Texas Southern (74-68), Portland State(95-84) and Fresno State (68-61). Saturday’s victory at Fresno marked Oregon’sfirst true road game of the season, and the Ducks overcame a shaky start and38-28 halftime deficit by outscoring the Bulldogs 40-23 over the final 20minutes. Oregon shot 29.4 percent from the field in the first half, but flippedthe script in the second, limiting the hosts to 24 percent shooting to snap FresnoState’s seven-game win streak. “In a 30-game schedule, there are going to be atleast 10 games where you don’t shoot it well,” Altman said in his postgamenews conference. “In those 10 games, you had better guard and find a way toscratch out a win another way.”
TV: 11 p.m. ET, Pac-12 Network
ABOUT CENTRAL ARKANSAS (6-6): Since a 4-3 start,the Southland Conference’s Bears have dropped three of their last five after Sunday’s 98-94 overtime loss at Morehead State. Senior guard Jordan Howardscored a game-high 32 points for Central Arkansas – his second 30-point-plusgame of the season – and ranks fifth nationally with a 24-point average. Backcourtmate Mathieu Kamba (13.6 points) is the only player averaging in double figuresfor the Bears and also is averaging a team-most 5.7 rebounds.
ABOUT OREGON (9-3): Guard Elijah Brown scored agame-high 20 points, including 4-of-4 performance from 3-point range, againstFresno State, and ranks second on the team in scoring (13.8) on the season.Point guard Payton Pritchard, the only returning starter from the Ducks’ FinalFour squad last year, is pacing the Ducks with 15.7 points and 4.3 assistswhile freshman forward Troy Brown is averaging 11.5 points and a team-leading8.1 rebounds. Forward Paul White (11.1 points) left the Saturday’s game midwaythrough the second half after taking a blow to the head and was evaluated for apossible concussion.
1. The Ducks’ 46-game home win streak was snappedDec. 1 in a 73-70 loss to Boise State at the buzzer, but Oregon still has won49 of its last 50 games at Matthew Knight Arena and is averaging 89.1 points inseven home dates this season.
2. Oregon freshman F Kenny Wooten had a double-double(13 points, 10 rebounds) against the Bulldogs and added a career-high six blockedshots, giving him 16 over the last three games.
3. Wednesday’s game will be the ninth road gameout of 13 this season for Central Arkansas, which also has lost at the Pac-12’sUCLA (106-101 in overtime) and California (96-69).
PREDICTION: Oregon 96, Central Arkansas 76