California slowed Oregon's league-leading offensive attack. But only for a half.
Malik Hairston and Bryce Taylor scored 20 points apiece and the Ducks held off a late rally to win 79-70 on Thursday. Maarty Leunen added 18 points and 11 rebounds for his Pacific-10 Conference leading 10th double-double of the season.
The Ducks (11-4, 2-1 Pac-10) led 31-26 at halftime, but scored 48 points in the second half &
once it discovered a way to break through Cal's zone defense.
"We did a much better job of attacking their zone (in the second half)," Oregon coach Ernie Kent said. "We pounded it in a little more and got into a rhythm."
Ryan Anderson, the leading scorer in the Pac-10, scored 22 points and Patrick Christopher added 21 for the Bears (10-4, 1-2), who were playing their first road game since Dec. 9.
Oregon (83.4) and Cal (80.5) entered the night as the top-two scoring teams in the Pac-10, but both struggled to find any offensive rhythm in the first half.
The Ducks made few attempts at getting to the basket, preferring to take their chances with long-range attempts. Though the Ducks missed 14 of 17 3-pointers, they led at the half because the Bears shot 35 percent from the field.
California went almost six minutes without scoring after Jerome Randle hit a 3-pointer to cut the Bears deficit to 21-20 with 9:22 left in the half.
Oregon failed to take full advantage during Cal's cold stretch, only putting together a 6-0 run before a layup by Harper Kamp ended Cal's scoreless streak with 3:29 left in the half.
In the second half, 3-pointers by Kamyron Brown and Hairston put Oregon up 39-28, and another — by Hairston followed by a layup from Frantz Dorsainvil put the Ducks up 48-34 with 14:31 left.
"We just had to settle down and focus on the offensive end," said Leunen, who surpassed the 1,000-point mark in his career. He now has 1,002.
But the Ducks couldn't coast. Christopher hit 3-pointers on consecutive possessions, trimming Oregon's lead to 48-40. He later capped an 11-0 run with five straight points to give the Bears their first lead of the game, 56-54, with 7:18 to play.
Leunen hit a 3-pointer at the other end to spark an Oregon run that put the Ducks back up 64-56 with 5:05 left. Christopher again got Cal close; his fifth 3-pointer of the night reduced Oregon's lead to 66-64.
But Brown followed with a pair of free throws for the Ducks and Hairston added a 3-pointer after blocking an attempt by Anderson.
"It was big for us top go on a run, especially on their home court," Anderson said. "We were coming back... but after Malik hit his three in the corner, it seemed like it was over."
Oregon hit 52 percent of its shots in the second half. On a night when the Ducks made just 9-of-31 shots from outside the 3-point line, they hit 15-of-20 from inside it.
"They have a lot of explosive players," California coach Ben Braun said.
Ducks slip past Bears