March 22, 2019 / 11:42 PM / 3 months ago

Oregon dominates second half to dispatch Wisconsin

Oregon point guard Payton Pritchard had 19 points and nine assists, and Kenny Wooten dominated the paint with four blocks as the 12th-seeded Ducks beat Wisconsin 72-54 Friday in a first-round game in the South Region in San Jose, Calif.

Mar 22, 2019; San Jose, CA, USA; Wisconsin Badgers forward Ethan Happ (22) shoots during the second half in the first round of the 2019 NCAA Tournament against the Oregon Ducks at SAP Center. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Louis King scored 17, and Paul White added 14 — all in the second half — as Oregon (24-12) pulled away from the No. 5 Badgers after a 25-25 tie at halftime. Wooten, a springy 6-foot-9 forward, dunked three times en route to nine points and was key to slowing down Wisconsin star senior forward Ethan Happ.

Happ, facing constant double teams from a lengthy Oregon defense, ended his career with 12 points, eight rebounds and no assists — off his season averages of 17.5, 10.1 and 4.6, respectively. He made 5 of 10 shots and committed five turnovers.

Oregon won its ninth consecutive game and will play 13th-seeded UC Irvine in Sunday’s second round in San Jose. The Anteaters upset No. 4 Kansas State 70-64 earlier Friday for the first NCAA Tournament win in school history.

Oregon took a 12-point lead on Pritchard’s layup with 4:19 to go, and Wisconsin (23-11) couldn’t muster enough offense to rally against an Oregon defense that is allowing 54.2 points per game during its winning streak.

Wisconsin guard Khalil Iverson, a senior, scored 12 points, including his first 3-pointer since the 2016-17 season.

Wooten dunked on back-to-back possessions early in the second half — one on a put-back and the other on a lob — as part of an 11-2 run that netted Oregon a 39-33 lead.

About four minutes later, Wooten teamed with White to block a shot from Happ in the lane, jawed a bit about it as he ran down the court and then dunked off a lob from Pritchard on a pick-and-roll. Oregon led 46-37 with 12:39 to go.

Oregon held Wisconsin to 33.3 percent shooting (20 of 60) while making 54.9 percent (28 of 51) of their own attempts from the field.

The game was a defensive slugfest in the first half, as the teams went into halftime tied at 25. Wisconsin knotted the game with four seconds left when Iverson took a cross-court pass from D’Mitrik Trice and drove for a two-handed slam that just beat the shot clock.

Pritchard scored 12 points in the first 20 minutes.

—Field Level Media

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