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Preview: California at Oregon

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

Oregon, fresh off its first loss of the season, looks to snap an 11-game losing streak to California on Thursday when the teams meet at Matt Arena. The Golden Bears have won five straight in Eugene, and have had a week off since opening Pac-12 play with a 69-62 victory over rival Stanford. The pace figures to be considerably faster against No. 13 Oregon, which is third in points per game (89.4) and ranks 12th in field goal percentage (49.6).

California will again be without injured guards Ricky Kreklow (hand) and Jabari Bird (ankle), but several reserves stepped up against Stanford. They’ll need another strong performance against the Ducks, who have forced at least 14 turnovers in each of their last five games. Oregon point guard Dominic Artis missed the first nine games due to suspension, but played well off the bench against Utah and Colorado last week and could move into the starting lineup before long.

TV: 11 p.m. ET, Fox Sports 1

ABOUT CALIFORNIA (10-4, 1-0 Pac-12): The Golden Bears’ injury woes have created more playing time for reserves Jeff Powers, Christian Behrens and Sam Singer, and all three contributed against Stanford. Point guard Justin Cobbs, who hit a game-winning shot in Eugene last season, averages a team-high 14.4 points and 5.9 assists and scored nine points in the final 3 1/2 minutes against the Cardinal. The frontcourt is led by forwards David Kravish (11.6 points, 7.8 rebounds) and Richard Solomon, who averages a league-leading 10.5 rebounds.

ABOUT OREGON (13-1, 1-1): The Ducks failed to record their first 14-0 start since 1937-38 when Colorado shot 56 percent and rolled to a 100-91 victory Sunday. Coach Dana Altman was frustrated with the Ducks’ defense after the loss, but overall has to be pleased with his team, which has had at least four players score in double figures in nine of the last 11 games. Houston transfer Joseph Young averages a team-high 19.1 points while forward Mike Moser (13.9 points, 7.6 rebounds) has found a home after stops at UCLA and UNLV.

TIP-INS

1. California coach Mike Montgomery has won his last 14 games against Oregon dating back to his time at Stanford.

2. The teams have one common non-conference opponent in UC Irvine, which lost to California 73-56 on Dec. 2 and Oregon 91-63 on Dec. 17.

3. Cobbs has averaged 16.3 points in four career games against Oregon.

PREDICTION: Oregon 79, California 76

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/thomson-reuters/140109/preview-california-at-oregon