Cal Basketball: Bears Face Serious Challenge as No. 11 Oregon Visits Haas Pavilion

Jeff Faraudo

No. 11 OREGON (17-4, 6-2) at CAL (9-10, 3-3)

WHERE: Haas Pavilion, Berkeley

WHEN: Thursday, 6 p.m.

TV/RADIO: Pac-12 Network/810-AM

CAL-OREGON HISTORY: Cal leads 84-61 but Oregon has won five in a row and seven of the past eight meetings. Prior to that, the Bears won 12 straight in the series. This is Oregon’s first visit to Haas since the 2017-18 season, when the Ducks won 66-53.

CAL STORYLINES: The Bears continue to demonstrate they are a different team at home than elsewhere. Cal is 9-2 at Haas, compared with 0-8 on the road or in neutral-site games. The most recent evidence was the Bears’ 52-50 win over rival Stanford on Sunday, improving their Pac-12 home record to 3-0. . . . Under first-year coach Mark Fox, Cal already has exceeded the eight victories it had each of the past two seasons. . . . The Bears continue to struggle offensively and rank last in the conference in scoring (62.6 points). They have failed to score even 60 in their past three games, averaging 49.3 over that span. . . . A key to the win over Stanford was ball security. Cal had just seven turnovers and forced 15 giveaways by the Cardinal. . . . Senior point guard Paris Austin, in his first start since the beginning of conference play, delivered one of his best games with 15 points, 4 assists, 2 steals and just 1 turnover in 35 minutes. Austin enters the Oregon game needing 4 points to reach 1,000 combined for his time at Boise State and Cal. . . Sophomore Matt Bradley (17.2 points, 5.1 rebounds) has scored double digits in all but one game this season. . . . Forward Grant Anticevich, who has scored 10 points or more eight times and has a pair of double-doubles, has totaled just six points on 3-for-19 shooting the past three games.

OREGON STORYLINES: The 11th-ranked Ducks are the second straight first-place team to visit Haas, following Stanford’s game at Berkeley on Sunday afternoon. The Bears knocked the Cardinal from the Pac-12’s top spot, but Oregon likely will be tougher. The Ducks have won three in a row, including a home sweep of USC and UCLA last weekend. They own non-conference victories over Memphis, Seton Hall and Michigan, while dropping games vs. Gonzaga and North Carolina. . . . Oregon has played five overtime games this season and won the past four of them. The Ducks lost to Gonzaga 73-72 in OT. . . . Oregon is fueled by a dynamite backcourt, featuring Pac-12 Player of the Year frontrunner Payton Pritchard (19.7 points, 4.3 rebounds, 5.8 assists, 1.7 steals, 41% 3-pointers). The 6-foot-2 senior point guard is the first player in conference history with at least 1,500 points (1,717), 600 assists (609) and rebounds (507). He is just 6 assists shy of eclipsing the OU record of 614, set by Kenya Wilkins (1993-97). Chris Duarte (14.1 points, 5.7 rebounds), a 6-6 junior from the Dominican Republic, was the national junior college player of the year in 2018-19 at Northwest Florida State. Duarte is the reigning Pac-12 Player of the Week after posting 30 points, 11 rebounds and 8 steals vs. USC and 24 points vs. UCLA.

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