No. 11 Oregon pulls away from Houston for 78-66 victory
EUGENE, Ore. (AP) - Anthony Mathis kept up his accurate shooting with 18 points and No. 11 Oregon followed along for a 78-66 victory over Houston on Friday night.
Mathis, a graduate transfer from New Mexico who entered making 68.2% of his 3-pointers, nailed five of nine attempts from long range as the Ducks shot 10 for 20 on 3s and 54% overall.
Payton Pritchard added 16 points and five assists for Oregon (5-0), while Francis Okoro scored 12.
Caleb Milles led the Cougars (2-2) with 21 points.
The Ducks pushed their lead to double digits for the first time at 45-35 on a three-point play by Pritchard and a 3-pointer by Mathis, prompting a Houston timeout with 15:45 left.
The Cougars momentarily cut it to six, but Mathis’ four-point play started a 9-0 run that extended Oregon’s lead to 56-41 with 10 minutes remaining.
Oregon led 32-27 after a first half that was largely a battle between the 3-point shooting of the Ducks and Houston’s dominance on the inside. The Ducks made six of 12 3-pointers, including three during a 15-2 run that gave them a 29-24 lead.
Houston countered with 10 offensive rebounds in the first half, contributing to a 22-13 overall edge on the boards, and used those second-chance possessions to score 13 points. The Cougars finished with a 38-26 advantage in rebounds, grabbing 17 on the offensive end that led to 21 second-chance points.
Overall, the Ducks shot 50% in the first half (12 of 24) to Houston’s 35.3% (12 of 34). The Cougars were 1 of 11 on 3-pointers.
Houston: After winning the previous two meetings with Oregon, the Cougars lost in their first trip to Eugene.
Oregon: The Ducks are 5-0 for the first time since the 2015-16 season, when they reached the Elite Eight of the NCAA Tournament. But the Ducks have yet to play a game outside the state of Oregon.
Houston returns home to play Houston Baptist on Tuesday and will be home for five of their next six games.
Oregon begins play in the Battle 4 Atlantis on Wednesday against No. 13 Seton Hall, the second Top 25 team on the Oregon schedule after an earlier win over then-No. 13 Memphis. The Ducks could then be matched up with No. 8 Gonzaga in the semifinals of the three-day tournament.
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