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Balanced scoring helps Oregon blow out Cal

Jan 18, 2023; Berkeley, California, USA; Oregon Ducks guard Will Richardson (0) passes around California Golden Bears forward Sam Alajiki (24) during the first half at Haas Pavilion. Mandatory Credit: D. Ross Cameron-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: D. Ross Cameron-USA TODAY Sports

Oregon suffocated California with defense in the first half, then exploded behind balanced scoring in the second half en route to an 87-58 romp over the Golden Bears on Wednesday night in Berkeley, Calif.

Rivaldo Soares had 13 points to lead seven Ducks with eight or more as Oregon (11-8, 5-3 Pac-12) built a double-digit, first-half lead and coasted home for a second straight win.

Reserve ND Okafor had 10 points to pace Cal (3-16, 2-6), which saw a two-game home winning streak come to an end.

Coming off an upset win over nationally ranked Arizona and urged by coach Dana Altman to be more consistent, Oregon put on a defensive clinic in the first half. The Ducks limited Cal to 21 points in the 20 minutes, allowing just seven field goals on 25 attempts and just one 3-pointer on 10 tries.

The Golden Bears trailed 34-21 at the break, then saw any hope of a comeback crushed by an 11-0 Oregon run early in the second period. Soares had five points, including a 3-pointer, and Jermaine Couisnard scored four in the burst that opened a 45-23 advantage.

Oregon wound up scoring 53 points in the second half, resulting in a season-high-tying total that matched its output in from its 87-68 shocker over Arizona on Saturday.

Soares’ offensive support came from fellow starters N’Faly Dante (12 points), Nate Bittle (11), Will Richardson (11) and Couisnard (nine) as well as reserves Keeshawn Barthelemy (10) and Quincy Guerrier (eight).

Richardson completed a double-double with a game-high 10 assists, while Dante tied Cal’s Lars Thiemann for game-high rebound honors with seven.

With Dante hitting six of his seven shots and Soares three of his five 3-point attempts, the Ducks shot 59.6 percent from the field and 9-for-24 (37.5 percent) from deep.

Monty Bowser and Sam Alajiki chipped in with nine points apiece and Grant Newell had eight for the Golden Bears, who wound up just 4-for-16 on 3-point attempts en route to their 10th game this season with fewer than 60 points.

–Field Level Media