The Civil War will come to an earlier end than usual.
Oregon and Oregon State will wrap up their regular-season series at Matthew Knight Arena at 5 p.m. Saturday, marking the first time in the history of the most-contested rivalry in college basketball that the two schools are not scheduled to face each other in a game after January. The 350th game of the series will be the last this season unless the Ducks and Beavers meet up in the Pac-12 Tournament.
The two schools have traditionally played once in the first half of the Pac-12 schedule and again in the second half, but this year’s schedule put them up against each other twice in the first eight games of conference play. Oregon and OSU will have played each other two times before seeing Stanford, California, Washington and Washington State for the first time.
The rematch comes 22 days after Oregon State beat the Ducks 76-64 in Corvallis.
“It’s just payback,” Oregon freshman guard Victor Bailey said. “I think we will come out really hard. They got us, but they come to our house now. We are ready to get back at them, get a little revenge.”
Oregon shot 36.2 percent from the field in the loss to OSU, which outscored the Ducks 46-35 in the second half.
“We lost to them already, so we have to come in with more fire and understanding of who we are playing and what they want to do,” Oregon senior forward MiKyle McIntosh said. “We can’t let them come here and beat us. We need to make sure we get it done.”
The 6-foot-7 McIntosh had nine points and four rebounds in the loss to OSU, but has bettered those numbers in each of the past four games. McIntosh has scored in double figures in those four games while averaging 15.3 points during the past two weeks.
“I kind of found some spots to make it easier on myself and coach talked about being more aggressive and understanding that I can do things,” he said. “They trust in me and when people trust in you, you have more confidence in yourself.”
McIntosh is averaging 9.4 rebounds in the last four games, including a career-high 13 at Arizona.
“He’s playing hard and doing a great job,” Oregon coach Dana Altman said. “He is playing like you hope a senior would with a little sense of urgency.”
McIntosh was averaging 24.5 minutes during the first 16 games, but has been on the court an average of has 34.3 minutes during the past four games. Altman said that is more minutes than he’d planned for McIntosh, and added the graduate transfer looked “a little gassed” after playing 35 minutes in Saturday’s 94-91 win over UCLA. But it has been tough for the coach to take him out of a game.
“I’ve just been playing like myself, not any improvements,” McIntosh said. “I understand I need to stay out of foul trouble to help the team.”
Bailey gave Oregon a boost off the bench when he matched his career high with 18 points in the win over the Bruins. After playing a season-low eight minutes in Thursday’s 75-70 loss to USC, his 25 minutes against UCLA were his most since November.
“Once you get into the flow, games slow down,” Bailey said. “In previous games, it was going so fast.”