Oregon spent a couple days watching Pac-12 teams lose at home in unlikely ways similar to those that the Ducks regretted from the first half of the schedule.
Washington State won at Arizona State and Arizona. USC and UCLA were swept at home by Colorado and Utah.
Oregon became the only conference team to pull off a home sweep during the week by defeating Stanford 69-46 Sunday night in front of 9,014 at Matthew Knight Arena. Add in Wednesday’s win over Cal, and the Ducks swept a two-game set in conference play for the first time in five tries this season.
“We needed to get something done at home because we only have two games here left,” said UO coach Dana Altman, whose Ducks are now 4-3 in Pac-12 home games this year.
While Oregon won two games during the week at MKA, the rest of the conference home teams went 2-8 as the carnage near the top of the standings moved the Ducks from a tie for eighth place into a fifth-place tie. UO went from two games back of fourth place to one game out of second heading into a trip to Oregon State on Saturday.
“This game was big, especially for spots in the Pac-12,” Oregon sophomore guard Victor Bailey said. “We needed this to try and get up on the top level. … We try to get the sweep, that is the goal when we go out, and we were able to get it done.”
Oregon never trailed against the Cardinal and the game was not in much doubt after Stanford missed 21 of its first 22 shots from the field.
The Ducks were up 6-0 as Stanford missed its first 12 shots, including three that were blocked by Kenny Wooten. Oregon went ahead 16-2 as Wooten blocked five shots before the Cardinal got a second bucket.
“I felt like that changed what they wanted to do,” Wooten said. “We knew that they wanted to penetrate and after a couple blocks, they looked for another way to score.”
Oregon led 18-4 when Wooten went to the bench after picking up his second foul with 5:49 left in the first half and the Cardinal responded by making 6-of-9 shots to get within 30-20 at halftime.
“They tried to attack more when I was off the floor, but I felt like our defense did a good job when I was out,” Wooten said.
Josh Sharma opened the second half with a basket for Stanford, but the closest the Cardinal could get was 38-31 following a three-pointer by KZ Okpala. Payton Pritchard drove for a layup and then Louis King and Pritchard hit consecutive three-pointers to put the Ducks ahead 46-31.
Pritchard scored 20 points for the second game in a row while making 8-of-13 shots from the field, including 2-of-4 three-pointers. Pritchard shot 31.8 percent from the field in the first half of conference play before going 15-for-29 during the week, including 7-of-13 on three-pointers.
“He was really good tonight,” Altman said. “Straight line drives got him to the rim and he finished some tough shots.”
King added 16 points and seven rebounds, and Victor Bailey scored 11 points as Oregon shot 44.1 percent from the field. The Ducks had a 41-37 edge in rebounding.
Stanford’s 46 points were the fewest scored against Oregon this season. The Cardinal shot 15-for-55 from the field as Wooten matched his career high with seven blocks to tie the fifth-best mark in UO single-game history.
Stanford was without starting point guard Daejon Davis due to a head injury and Okpala went 3-for-14 from the field to finish with 10 points, nearly eight below his average.
“(Okpala) got to the rim three or four times in the first half and Kenny did not give him any easy baskets,” Altman said.