Despite five players in double figures and 14 3-pointers, it was Oregon’s defense that was the all the talk following the Ducks’ 71-58 win against Washington on Thursday at Eugene, Ore.
Bryce Taylor led the way for Oregon (15-9, 6-6) with 15 points and the Ducks held the Huskies (13-12, 4-8) to 39 percent shooting, outrebounded them 35-33 and scored 19 points off 13 Washington turnovers.
“Defense leads us to everything,” said Oregon’s Maarty Leunen, who recorded 10 points and 10 rebounds. “If we play tough and keep them to a low field-goal percentage, we know we have a good shot because we can beat them on the other end of the court.”
They certainly did that, as Malik Hairston scored 13, Churchill Odia had 12 points and Joevan Catron 10 points for the Ducks, who shot 43 percent from the field.
Oregon had lost four of five before posting consecutive wins against California and Washington by an average of 17.5 points.
“We see where we’re at in the season, six games left,” Taylor said. “We have aspirations of playing in the NCAA tournament. There’s that sense of urgency. It’s now or never and we have to take advantage of the opportunity in front of us.”
Justin Dentmon scored 16 to lead the Huskies, who were playing their first game since a 71-61 upset of No. 5 UCLA last Sunday.
Jon Brockman also recorded 13 points and 11 rebounds for Washington.
Arizona 83, California 73: At Tucson, Ariz., Jerryd Bayless scored 33 points as the Wildcats recorded their 13th straight homecourt victory over the Bears since 1995.
Bayless scored 18 of his points in the first half and hit several clutch 3-pointers in the second half as Arizona (16-8, 6-5) ended a two-game losing streak. The freshman guard finished 5 of 9 from behind the 3-point arc.
The Wildcats also got scoring help from Jordan Hill, who had 21 points and 11 rebounds. Chase Budinger added 18 points, 15 coming in the second half.
Patrick Christopher led Cal (14-9, 5-7) with 21 points.
Arizona State 72, (7) Stanford 68 (OT): At Tempe, Ariz., James Harden scored 23 points, including eight in overtime, and the Sun Devils (16-7, 6-5) rallied to defeat the Cardinal (20-4, 9-3).
The Sun Devils overcame a seven-point deficit in the final 1:49 of regulation to force overtime, and Harden scored Arizona State’s first eight points in extra time.
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