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Gonzaga-Oregon key matchup: Senior guard Payton Pritchard steers Ducks’ offense

Gonzaga will have its hands full with every matchup against an athletic Oregon squad in the Battle 4 Atlantis semifinals Thursday, but senior point guard Payton Pritchard leads the Ducks in scoring (18.3) and assists (5.7).

Pritchard, who was recruited by Gonzaga after a standout career at West Linn High near Portland, helped Oregon erase a 19-point deficit in Wednesday’s win over Seton Hall. He finished with three 3-pointers, 16 points, six assists and six turnovers.

Pritchard’s 3-point accuracy has gone down over his four-year career. He’s at 34.3% this season and made just 32.8% last season. He hit 41.3% as a sophomore. The 6-foot-2 Pritchard has made at least two 3s in Oregon’s last five games and he’s a crafty finisher on drives into the lane.

Pritchard joins Ron Lee as the only players in program history with 1,000 career points, 500 assists and 400 rebounds. Pritchard is third on the Ducks’ career assists list. He’s made 115 consecutive starts.

Ryan Woolridge figures to draw the defensive assignment on Pritchard, presuming the Zags’ senior guard is OK after limping off the court favoring his right leg in the second half of Wednesday’s win.

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