PORTLAND — Hometown kid Payton Pritchard wouldn't let the Ducks drop a second game in two days Friday, hitting the go-ahead three-pointer in overtime on his way to a career-high 29 points in Oregon's 89-79 victory over DePaul in the PK80 Invitational at Veterans Memorial Coliseum.
Pritchard missed a potential game-winning three just before the end of regulation, but his three with 2:24 left in overtime broke a 79-79 tie and helped the Ducks end the game on a 12-0 run. As a team, the Ducks took a school-record 39 three-pointers — the record-breaker being Pritchard's go-ahead three in overtime. Oregon moved on to face Oklahoma on the final day of the tournament, Sunday morning back at Veterans Memorial Coliseum.
How It Happened: Oregon (5-1) surged into the lead late in regulation, but DePaul (1-4) scored the final four points of the second half and carried that momentum over into the extra five minutes. Tre'Darius McCallum opened overtime with two free throws to give the Blue Demons a 77-75 lead, and after a jumper by Oregon's Elijah Brown, Max Strus scored to make it 79-77 DePaul. Those would be the last points the Blue Demons scored, while Pritchard tied it at 79-79 with two free throws, then gave the Ducks the lead for good with his three-pointer.
DePaul trailed by just one at a 36-35 lead into halftime, taking advantage of its size advantage. The Blue Demons had a 20-14 advantage on the boards and outscored Oregon 20-6 in the paint, as the Ducks took 20 of their 29 field-goal attempts from three-point range. Oregon held the Blue Demons without a field goal for a stretch of 4:40 early in the second half to tie the game 49-49, but DePaul then scored on seven straight trips to go up 64-58.
From there, though, UO veterans Pritchard and Brown took the game by the horns. They made three-pointers on consecutive trips for a 64-64 tie and, moments later, Pritchard followed a blocked shot by Kenny Wooten with another three-pointer for a 69-67 lead. Paul White hit yet another three to put Oregon up 75-71, but DePaul tied it down the stretch, and Pritchard's three-pointer at the buzzer after dribbling out the shot clock rimmed out.
Who Stood Out: Pritchard made 9-of-16 shots, including 7-of-13 three-pointers, on his way to the career-high 29 points. He added eight assists and six rebounds. Brown added 19 points, six rebounds and three assists, overcoming a slow start offensively to come up with seven points along with a key steal in overtime. Troy Brown Jr. wasn't his sharpest, playing 26 minutes due to some turnovers, but he added 11 points and led the Ducks with nine rebounds.
What It Means: The Ducks still aren't playing up to their standards, but they feel much better about the outcome Friday after grinding out a win.
Head coach Dana Altman
"I thought our enthusiasm, our energy, was better obviously than it was last night; it was very poor last night, but it was better. Even though I didn't think we played well, and we made a lot of mistakes, I thought that energy, and us outrebounding them by 10 in the second half and overtime, I thought, were the keys."
"Their philosophy is, don't give up anything in the paint. So I knew we'd have a lot of opportunities to penetrate and kick. At shootaround today we took a lot of threes, because I really thought we'd get some."
Junior forward Paul White
"Coach Altman got us in the right spots, put us in the right defense, to finally put an end to (DePaul's advantage in the post). Credit DePaul, they knew what they had on their team, and luckily Coach Altman knew what he had on his team, and we were able to pull out the win."
Notable: This was the Ducks' first appearance in Veterans Memorial Coliseum since Jan. 15, 2003, when Luke Jackson scored 21 points to lead Oregon over Portland State, 69-63. … After finishing Thursday's loss to UConn with seven assists, the Ducks had assists on their first eight field-goal attempts Friday. … White and Wooten fouled out late in the second half, the fourth and fifth Ducks to foul out over the two PK80 games in two days. ... The previous UO record for three-pointers in a game was 38 versus California in 2008; coincidentally a member of that team all-American Malik Hairston, was in attendance Friday night and also plans to be at Sunday's game.
Up Next: The Ducks close out the PK80 Invitational on Sunday when they face Oklahoma in Veterans Memorial Coliseum at 10 a.m.
Story provided by UO Athletics.
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