EUGENE, Ore. (AP)—Aaron Brooks continued to come up with big plays for Oregon.
Brooks scored 15 of his 22 points to help No. 9 Oregon rally to beat California 92-84 on Saturday night.
The senior guard hit three 3-pointers in the second half as the Ducks (18-1, 6-1 Pac-10) overcame an eight-point halftime deficit to win their fifth straight league game for the first time since 2002.
“The last couple of years, you all haven’t seen the real Aaron Brooks,” said Malik Hairston, who added 19 points for the Ducks. “This is the real Aaron Brooks. He’s a dominant player. He makes big shots and has a passion for the game.”
Tajuan Porter had 15 points for the Ducks.
“We are playing in harmony this year,” said Oregon coach Ernie Kent, who has his team off to its best start in 80 years. “Everyone knows that they can share the ball and still get their own numbers.”
The 46-38 deficit was Oregon’s biggest at the half this season. It also was the first time that an opponent had scored more than 38 points against the Ducks in the first half.
The Bears scored 18 second-chance points in the first half and shot 59 percent from the field to take their lead.
Brooks made two 3-pointers early in the second half and scored eight of his team’s first 10 points as the Ducks tied it 48-48 at the 17:35 mark.
“I expected to contribute and do my part,” Brooks said. “I’ve had some unbelievable games. It’s going good right now.”
After a jumper by Ayinde Ubaka put Cal up by two, Taylor gave Oregon its first lead since the opening minutes of the first half with a 3-pointer at 16:23 that made it 51-50.
Leunen capped the Ducks’ 20-6 start to the second half with a jumper at 13:15 to give Oregon a 60-52 lead.
“We knew they were going to make a run,” said Cal’s Theo Robertson, who had a career-high 19 points. “They’re a great rhythm team, and they really get the crowd into it. Unfortunately, we dug ourselves a hole in the second half. We really didn’t respond well.”
Back-to-back 3-pointers by Ubaka and Eric Vierneisel, and a layup by Jerome Rand pulled the Bears back into a 62-62 tie, but Brooks hit another 3-pointer to put the Ducks up for good with just under 11 minutes to play.
“He’s just in a great, great place right now,” Kent said of Brooks. “He’s showing tremendous leadership right now.”
Theo Robertson led the Bears (12-7, 4-3) with 19 points, while Omar Wilkes and Ubaka had 17 points each.