5. Oregon Ducks (11-7, 2-3 Pac-12) LW: 6
To say the least, the last two weeks have been a roller coaster for Oregon.
After an 0-2 start to conference play, the Ducks got back on track, winning their next two games. Those came against an underachieving USC squad and a solid Arizona team.
In the latter of the two victories, a 59-54 win over the Wildcats on Thursday, 3-point shooting was critical. A 41.2 percent mark from deep carried Oregon past Arizona, which shot under 30 percent from three.
Holding an eight-point lead at the break, Oregon was in control for near the entire game. But a Dylan Smith 3 closed the gap to four with less than two minutes left. Eventually, Payton Pritchard iced the game, hitting consecutive free throws.
Individually, it was Paul White who stepped up. The senior forward led the team in scoring with 16 points on an impeccable 7-of-10 shooting night. Victor Bailey Jr. followed closely behind with 13 points on 3-of-5 shooting from beyond the arc.
The next game, however, was a different story.
Against Arizona State, the teams went blow-for-blow over the first 20 minutes. At halftime, the opposing squads were knotted at 39 a piece. It wouldn’t take the Sun Devils long to get going in the second half.
A 19-0 run from ASU proved insurmountable, and the Sun Devils cruised to a 78-64 victory. Pritchard and White combined for 36 points, but a poor, 33.3 percent shooting night ultimately doomed the Ducks.
Now 2-3 in conference, Oregon heads north for games against Washington and Washington State. Washington is in first place, while Washington State is 1-4 and 11th in the league standings.