Oregon Visits Bay Area
Jan. 9, 2001
WHAT'S ON TAP . . . The Ducks will meet the No. 1 team in the nation for the first time in six years during their trip to the Bay Area to face California Thursday, Jan, 11, at 7:30 p.m. and top-ranked Stanford Saturday, Jan. 13, at 3:00 p.m. OSN will pick up the Oregon-Cal game, while ABC has a regional telecast slated for the Oregon-Stanford tilt. Oregon's 10-1 mark is its best since the 1996-97 team also opened at 10-1. A win over Cal for an 11-1 record would be Oregon's best since the 1994-95 team went 11-1.
HIGH-FLYING DUCKS . . . Led by the conference's leading scorer Bryan Bracey, Oregon leads the Pac-10 in scoring at 87.1 points per game (Stanford is second at 85.3). Oregon has topped 82 points in six of its last seven games. The Ducks are also tops in the league in field goal percentage (.500) and three pointers per game (9.0), and rank second in three-point field goal percentage (.401) and assists (16.8). Oregon has shot 50 percent or better in five of 11 games this season and has just three games shooting below 46 percent. The Ducks have made at least 11 three-pointers six times this season. Individually, Bracey leads the Pac-10 in scoring at 20.5 points per game and three-point field goal percentage at .520. Oregon's 110 points scored against Illinois-Chicago is the most in the league so far this season and Bracey's 31 points against Auburn is tied for the top individual performance of the year. Other games in which Oregon has notched the Pac-10's best performance include the .900 free throw percentage versus Auburn (18-of-20) and the 13 three-pointers versus Portland State. See page 5 for a complete list of where UO ranks in the Pac-10 stats.
LINE OF THE WEEK: Frederick Jones: 18.0 ppg, 11.0 rpg, 4.0 apg (one game). It was the third career double-double for Jones (first of the season) as the Gresham, Ore., native tied his career best in rebounds in the 84-66 win over the Beavers.
OREGON TENTATIVE STARTERS
F 20 Frederick Jones 6-4 209 Jr. 15.4 ppg, 6.3 rpg, 3.6 apgF 42 Bryan Bracey 6-7 210 Sr. 20.3 ppg, 7.5 rpg, .566 FG Pct.C 21 Julius Hicks 6-8 235 Sr. 8.1 ppg, 5.3 rpg, 1.4 bpgG 13 Luke Ridnour 6-2 165 Fr. 8.3 ppg, 2.8 rpg, 4.1 apgG 34 Anthony Norwood 6-3 185 Jr. 14.4 ppg, 2.4 rpg, 3.1 apg
HEAD COACH ERNIE KENT . . . Ernie Kent (Oregon `77) is in his fourth year at Oregon and at 10-1, has the Ducks off to their best 11-game start during his tenure. He has a 64-36 ledger with the Ducks and a 10-year career record of 154-116. He won his 150th game as a collegiate head coach Dec. 12 versus Illinois-Chicago (110-87). Kent won more games in his first three seasons as Oregon's head coach (54) than any other Oregon mentor since Howard Hobson (64) from 1935-36 through 1937-38. The former six-year Saint Mary's (Calif.) coach led the Ducks to the NCAA Tournament last season and accomplished some pretty impressive feats along the way: 22 wins was the school's most in 55 years, 13 Pac-10 wins was the most in school history, the first road triumph over a Top 25 opponent since 1977 (67-66 neutral-court win over Wake Forest), a win over the highest-ranked foe since 1995 with the 86-81 upset of No. 3 Arizona. In 1998-99, Kent took the Ducks to a 19-13 mark and a trip to New York City for the NIT Final Four. Prior to St. Mary's, he served two-year tenures as an assistant at Stanford (1990-91) and Colorado State (1988-89).
THE ONE THING . . . Oregon's game at No. 1 Stanford finds the Ducks facing a top-ranked opponent for the first time since March 11, 1995, when UO lost at No. 1 UCLA 94-78. Oregon has two wins over a No. 1-ranked school in its history. Both were in Eugene against UCLA. The most recent was Feb. 16, 1974, a 56-51 triumph that was the second half of the Bruins famed 'lost weekend,' as proclaimed on the cover of Sports Illustrated. The Ducks have never defeated a No. 1 team on the road, the closest UO has come was a 61-60 upset of No. 2 UCLA Jan. 7, 1977, at Pauley Pavilion.
LUCKY SEVEN . . . Under Ernie Kent, Oregon is 18-6 in its last 24 games decided by seven points or less.
THREE BALL, CORNER POCKET . . . Oregon has been hitting three-pointers at a remarkable clip this season. The Ducks are averaging 9.0 a game and are hitting 40.1 percent from beyond the arc. Another way of looking at is that Oregon is scoring 27.0 points per game on three pointers, which is a nearly a third of the team's 87.1 per game total. Oregon's 99 threes put it on a pace to hit 252 in a 28-game season, that would break the school record of 243 set in 1998-99 (32 games). Anthony Norwood leads the team with 34 treys and is hitting 45.9 percent from three-point land. Oregon has made at least 11 threes in six games this season, with a high of 13 coming Nov. 25 against Portland State (two shy of the school record of 15).
HOT SHOTS PART DEUX . . . The Ducks are smoking the nets to a .500 clip through 11 games. Oregon has shot 50 percent or better from the field in 5 of 11 games this season:
59.3 percent (35-of-59) Dec. 12 against Illinois-Chicago 58.9 percent (33-of-56) Nov. 21 at Denver 57.7 percent (30-of-52) Dec. 30 at Louisville 56.9 percent (29-of-51) Dec. 18 at Northern Arizona. 52.9 percent (27-of-51) Dec. 2 versus Massachusetts
THE LIFE OF BRYAN . . . The leading scorer in the Pac-10, senior forward Bryan Bracey continues to be one of the most improved players in 2000-01. After spending last season as Oregon's sixth man averaging 8.1 points and 3.6 rebounds per game, Bracey leads Oregon in scoring and rebounding at 20.3 points and 7.5 rebounds a game. He is shooting 56.6 percent (81-of-143) from the field and joins Arizona All-America candidate Michael Wright as the only players to rank in the Pac-10's top 10 in scoring, rebounding and field goal percentage. The Chicago, Ill., native recorded his first career double-double in the season opener against Mississippi Valley State with 22 points and 12 rebounds. The 12 boards was a career high. He followed that with a 20-point game in Oregon's road opener at Denver. Bracey was named co-MVP of the Pape Jam after scoring a then-career-high 24 points in Oregon's 91-76 defeat of Massachusetts. Next, he netted 20 in the win over Illinois-Chicago. He followed that with a career-high 31 points and 11 rebounds in the overtime loss to Auburn. Then came 22 points against South Carolina State and 28 points in the Pac-10 opener against Oregon State (24 in the second half). That's seven 20-point efforts in 11 games! Bracey became the first Duck score 30 points in a game since Alex Scales had 31 against Arizona State, March 2, 2000.
PAC-10 EM-BRACEYS BRYAN . . . Senior forward Bryan Bracey was named the Pac-10 Player of the Week for Dec. 11-17. The Chicago, Ill., native averaged 25.5 points and 9.0 rebounds a game. Bracey scored 20 points on 7-of-9 shooting (.778) with seven rebounds and a pair of assists in Oregon's 110-87 victory over Illinois-Chicago Dec. 12. He followed that with a career-high 31 points and 11 rebounds (second double-double of the season) in the 101-97 overtime loss to Auburn Dec. 16. For the week, Bracey shot 57.1 percent from the field (16-of-28) and 85 percent at the free throw line (17-of-20).
MR. JONES AND ME . . . It was expected that Frederick Jones would see an increase in his scoring average, and he has: 15.4 points per game through 10 games in 2000-01, compared to 9.7 ppg a season ago, but did you know that the junior from Gresham, Ore., has seen significant improvement in rebounding as well? He's second on the team at 6.3 per game (up from 3.9 rpg a year ago). Jones was named co-MVP of the Pape Jam after scoring 23 points (matching the second-highest effort of his career) and grabbing nine rebounds in Oregon's 91-76 defeat of Massachusetts. He got his third career double-double in the Jan. 6 win over Oregon State with 18 points and a career-high-tying 11 rebounds.
COOL HAND, LUKE . . . Luke Ridnour, the first true freshman to start at the point for Oregon since Kenya Wilkins in 1993-94, is beginning to hit his stride as Oregon's floor general. In the last five games, Ridnour has 23 assists (4.6 per game), while committing just six turnovers. He also scored a season-high 15 points in the Louisville game. For the season, Ridnour has nearly a two-to-one assist-to-turnover ratio (45-to-24), is fourth in scoring at 8.3 points per game and leads the team at 4.1 assists per game (fifth in the Pac-10). 'Rid' had a season-high nine assists in the Nov. 25 Portland State game. Back in 1993-94, Wilkins set the UO frosh assists record with 142.
JUICE THROWS A BLOCK PARTY . . . The long arms of 6-8 senior center Julius Hicks have been on display this year. On the season, Hicks has 15 blocks and ranks fifth in the Pac-10 (1.36 bpg). His 15 blocks this season is over one third of the way to Oregon's season record of 42, set by Blair Rasmussen in 1984. He's also just eight blocks shy of entering the season top 10 at 23 (Henry Madden, 1997). The San Francisco native is averaging 8.1 points per game and shooting 66.1 percent from the field (39-of-59), second in the Pac-10.
YOU GOTTA KNOCK, KNOCK, KNOCK ON NORWOOD . . . Junior guard Anthony Norwood was one of Oregon's best players down the stretch last season and the Tucson, Ariz., native has continued his solid play through this season's first 11 games. Norwood set career highs in points and assists during the 99-90 win at Denver. He scored 25 points, which easily surpassed his previous high of 19 (set last year against Denver) and dished out seven assists. Through this year's first 11 games, Norwood is third on the team in scoring (14.4 ppg) and leads the team with 34 three-pointers.
IT'S ALL ABOUT THE BENJAMINS . . . Ben Lindquist certainly settled into the role of super sub during the month of December. He had seven points against Massachusetts, four against Illinois-Chicago, a career-high tying 13 against Auburn, eight at Northern Arizona and 10 at Louisville. His shooting percentage during the month was remarkable for a guard: .560 (14-of-25). The junior from St. George, Utah, also seems to like playing Denver. He set his career high last season versus the Pioneers (13) and nearly matched that effort this year (12), with a pair of key three-pointers off the bench.
LUKE, IT IS YOUR DESTINY . . . Freshman Luke Jackson, whose hometown of Creswell is just down the road from Eugene, has lived up to his Oregon State Player of the Year reputation. One of the first players off the bench, Jackson scored a career-high 16 points in the 110-87 defeat of Illinois-Chicago on Dec. 12. He's averaging 6.3 points and 3.2 rebounds per game. He's also the Ducks' top free throw shooters at 84.0 percent (21-of-25).
FLO MOJO . . . Senior center Flo Hartenstein continues to contribute after preseason knee surgery that caused him to miss nearly all of fall camp. Flo came off the bench in the opener against Mississippi Valley State for his first appearance of 2000-01. And in typical workman-like form, Hartenstein contributed five points and four rebounds in 13 minutes of action. Against Denver, Flo was again effective off the bench, grabbing nine rebounds with six points and three steals in 23 minutes. He had two more steals against Portland State, leaving the German just eight shy of UO's career top 10! Flo was also key off the bench in the Louisville win with a season-high 11 rebounds (one shy of a career high) and eight points.
THE GREAT DANE . . . Oregon back up center Chris Christoffersen turned in his finest performance of the season with five points and a career-high seven rebounds in the Louisville win. The Roenne, Denmark, native stepped up with Julius Hicks sidelined with foul trouble and gave the Ducks a much-needed physical inside presence against an aggressive Cardinal squad.
ABOUT CALIFORNIA . . . The Bears are a perfect 7-0 in Berkeley and 9-4 overall. Cal split its opening Pac-10 road trip, downing Arizona State 82-67 and losing to Arizona 78-75. The Bears return all five starters from last season's 18-15 NIT team. Senior forward Sean Lampley leads the way at 18.4 points per game, which ranks second in the Pac-10 to Oregon's Bryan Bracey (20.3 ppg). Sophomore guard Shantay Legans is also in double figures at 10.2 points per game. The Bear bench is deep with junior center Solomon Hughes (8.5 ppg) and sophomore guard Joe Shipp (7.2 ppg) kicking in nearly 16 points per game. Cal is one of the better defensive teams in the Pac-10, holding opponents to 62.2 points per game (third), while the Ducks are the league's top scoring unit at 87.1 ppg. The Bears are also second in the conference in assist-to-turnover ratio.
TENTATIVE CALIFORNIA STARTERS
F 21 Sean Lampley 6-7 225 Sr. 18.4 ppg, 6.2 rpg, 3.3 apgF 25 Brian Wethers 6-5 210 So. 7.8 ppg, 2.2 rpgC 32 Nick Vander Laan 6-10 245 So. 6.7 ppg, 6.2 rpgG 12 Shantay Legans 5-10 175 So. 10.2 ppg, 2.8 rpg, 4.5 apgG 42 Ryan Forehan-Kelly 6-5 195 Jr. 8.7 ppg, 3.3 rpg, 2.5 apg
ABOUT STANFORD . . . The top-ranked Cardinal enter the weekend as one of only four remaining unbeaten teams in the nation joining Baylor, Boston College and Georgetown. Three starters return from last season's Pac-10 champion squad that went 27-4, but lost in the second round of the NCAA Tournament. Sophomore forward Casey Jacobsen leads the Cardinal at 17.8 points per game. When Jarron (14.2 ppg) and Jason (11.8 ppg) Collins both start, Stanford is 24-0. Saturday's game features the top two offenses in the Pac-10: Oregon at 87.1 ppg and Stanford at 85.3 ppg. Stanford and Oregon also rank 1-2 in field goal percentage, three-point field goal percentage, three-pointers per game, assists and scoring margin. The average height of Stanford's starting five is 6-7, Oregon's is 6-4 1/2.
TENTATIVE STANFORD STARTERS
F Jarron Collins 6-11 255 Sr. 14.2 ppg, 7.8 rpgF Ryan Mendez 6-7 210 Sr. 12.6 ppg, 3.3 rpg, 2.8 apgC Jason Collins 7-0 260 Jr. 11.8 ppg, 9.1 rpg, 1.1 bpgG Casey Jacobsen 6-6 210 So. 17.8 ppg, 3.6 rpgG Michael McDonald 6-1 180 Sr. 7.3 ppg, 2.8 rpg, 5.1 apg
CLIMBING THE CHARTS . . . Flo Hartenstein and Frederick Jones are wasting no time in trying to leave their marks on the Oregon career blocks and steals charts. Jones, a guard, had his 51st career block in the Louisville game, which ranks seventh. He passed Keith Balderston (48 blocks, 1984-88) during the Auburn game. Next up is Mike Carson, who had 53 from 1994-99. Hartenstein, with 36 career blocks, is just one away from joining the top 10 himself. On the other side of the coin, Hartenstein had two steals against Portland State, which leaves the German with 65 career and just eight shy from entering that career top 10. Jones needs five more swipes for a spot in the steals top 10. Jones is also on the verge of the Duck career top 10 in three pointers. He hit a pair against Oregon to move to 80, just one behind No. 10 Terrell Brandon and Darius Wright, who each netted 81 career threes.
FRESH FACES . . . Oregon got a look at its future in the Nov. 25 84-66 defeat of Portland State. All four freshmen set then-career highs in scoring, led by forward Luke Jackson's 13 (all in the second half). Guard Luke Ridnour scored 12 with a career-high nine assists, while guard James Davis added 10 points (three three-pointers) and center Jay Anderson had four.
TOP OF THE CLASS . . . Oregon's 1999-2000 recruiting class was rated best in the West by most services, including Bob Gibbons and Hoop Scoop's Clark Francis. The four freshmen who make up this stellar class are Parade and McDonald's All-American Luke Ridnour (6-2, 165, PG, Blaine, Wash./Blaine HS), Oregon 3A player of the year Luke Jackson (6-7, 210, F, Creswell, Ore./Creswell HS), sharp-shooter James Davis (5-10, 170, G, Vancouver, Wash./Evergreen HS) and Jay Anderson (6-9, 220, C, Faribault, Minn./Faribault HS). UO's list of newcomers also includes junior forward Mark Michaelis (6-10, 230, F, South Jordan, Utah), a transfer from Brigham Young.
DICKIE V SAYS . . . That Oregon freshman point guard Luke Ridnour is good. How good? Vitale, the ESPN harbinger of over-the-top college basketball analysis, tabbed Ridnour as the Pac-10's 'Diaper Dandy,' aka, his freshman of the year.
OREGON STATE RECAP . . . Bryan Bracey scored 24 of his 28 points in the second half as Oregon recovered from an early deficit to rout Oregon State 84-66 Jan. 6 at Mac Court in the Pac-10 opener for both teams. Freddie Jones added 18 points and Anthony Norwood 17 for the Ducks, who have won 14 of 15 against their in-state rival. Deaundra Tanner scored 20 points and Jason Heide had 17 for the Beavers, who ended the game with only seven healthy players after starters Adam Masten and Brian Jackson fouled out. Bracey scored just four points on 2-of-6 shooting in the first half, when the Ducks trailed by as many as 13 before tying it at halftime. Bracey began his burst by hitting a 13-foot jumper 2:23 into the second half. On the next possession, he nailed a 3-pointer, the first of four straight for the Ducks. Bracey finished a 13-0 run with a spectacular two-handed reverse dunk on a lob from Jones that pushed Oregon's lead to 55-38. By the time Bracey completed his flurry - on a difficult baseline jumper - Oregon led 65-44 with just under 10 minutes to go. During a 14:05 stretch beginning in the first half, Oregon outscored the Beavers 56-19. Oregon, leading the Pac-10 in 3-pointers at 8.8 per game, made eight of 16 in the second half. The Beavers figured to slow the tempo against Oregon, which had been averaging 87.4 points per game. But Oregon State came out gunning, making its first seven shots to take a 17-5 lead. Trailing 28-15, the Ducks went on a 10-0 run, highlighted by successive 3-pointers by Luke Ridnour and Jones. Oregon got within 32-30 on a layup and free throw by Julius Hicks. Heide picked up his fourth foul on the play, after receiving his third only 90 seconds earlier. With no other big men to replace him, coach Ritchie McKay had to leave Heide in. A driving reverse layup by Jones tied it 32-all at halftime.
LOUISVILLE RECAP . . . Bryan Bracey scored 15 of his 17 points in the second half to lead five players in double figures as Oregon beat Louisville 88-65 Dec. 30 at Freedom Hall. Luke Ridnour had a career-high 15 points, Frederick Jones 14, Anthony Norwood 12 and Ben Lindquist 10 for the 9-1 Ducks, who are off to their best start since going 10-0 to open the 1996-1997 season. It is also the Ducks' best 10-game start under fourth-year head coach Ernie Kent. Reece Gaines scored 17 points, Marques Maybin 15, Luke Whitehead 11 and Erik Brown 10 for the Cardinals, who shot only 39 percent and got outrebounded 41-36. Oregon led by 10 at halftime and Bracey scored nine points during a 15-6 run to open the second half and put the Ducks up 57-40 with 16:08 to play. Following a Whitehead jumper and two Gaines free throws, Oregon hit three unanswered 3-pointers to go up 66-44 and force a Louisville timeout with 11:48 remaining. From that point, the Cardinals got as close as 15 but no closer. Oregon shot 58 percent (30-of-52) from the field, including 12-of-19 3-pointers, and recorded a season-high 22 assists, led by Jones with six and Ridnour with five. Flo Hartenstein scored eight points and grabbed 11 rebounds, one shy of his career high, and Chris Christofferson added five points and seven rebounds, a career high for the Dane.
SOUTH CAROLINA STATE RECAP . . . Bryan Bracey had 22 points and Anthony Norwood added 16 as Oregon beat South Carolina State 82-60 Dec. 26 at Mac Court. Frederick Jones scored 15 points and Julius Hicks had 11 and seven rebounds for the Ducks, who got off to an 8-1 start for the third consecutive season. Greg Gray scored 17 points to lead the Bulldogs, who shot just 36.4 percent from the field and 18.8 percent on 3-point attempts. The Ducks were never threatened after jumping to a 14-2 lead in the first 5:30 minutes. Oregon led 37-15 late in the first half and 50-27 early in the second before the Bulldogs went on a 12-2 run to cut the lead to 13. But Oregon came back with an 18-4 run to take command at 70-43 before the Ducks cleared their bench. Oregon's starters -- Bracey, Norwood, Hicks, Jones and Luke Ridnour-- scored the team's first 56 points and accounted for 69 of 82 overall. The Duck reserves didn't get on to the scoreboard until a pair of Mark Michaelis free throws with 8:51 left in the game. Oregon hit 22 of 28 free throws and had a season-low 10 turnovers to go with eight steals. Walk-ons Kristian Christensen, a senior, and sophomore Nate Smith saw their first action of the 2000-01 season, it was the first career game for Smith, a 1999 graduate of Eugene's Churchill High School.
NORTHERN ARIZONA RECAP . . . Bryan Bracey scored five of his game-high 18 points in overtime, helping Oregon escape an upset against Northern Arizona, 72-70, Dec. 18 at Walkup Skydome. The Ducks squandered a 10-point lead in the second half before recovering for the overtime victory. Point guard Adam Lopez led the Lumberjacks with 15 points - eight in the final minute of regulation and overtime. A pair of free throws from Oregon guard Luke Ridnour gave the Ducks a 71-68 lead with 17 seconds left, and the Lumberjacks Cory Schwab misfired on NAUs last gasp, a 3-pointer with five seconds to play. Bracey then hit one of two free throws to ice the game for Oregon. The Ducks became just the fifth team to win at NAU's Walkup Skydome in the last five seasons. The Lumberjacks are still an astonishing 47-6 at the facility over the last five years. Oregon joins Weber State (twice), San Jose State, Cal State Northridge and San Diego as the only five schools to emerge victorious from Skydome during that period. Anthony Norwood scored 11 points for Oregon and Julius Hicks added 10 on 4-of-4 shooting. Freddie Jones' slashing layup with 1:45 left in overtime gave Oregon a 67-63 edge, but Lopez answered with a 3-pointer that just beat the shot clock to pull NAU back within one. With 22 seconds left, Lopez again pulled the game within one with a fading jumper, but the Lumberjacks never pulled ahead. Oregon shot a sizzling 57 percent from the field and every starter except Ridnour scored at least 10 points. Oregon broke out of a 29-all halftime tie with a 10-2 run in the first two minutes after the break, and the Ducks upped the lead to 48-38 on Hicks' layup at 13:35. Playing on eight days rest, Northern Arizona closed to within 56-55 with a 17-8 surge over the next eight minutes, capped by Cory Schwabs 3-pointer with just under four minutes remaining. The Ducks limited NAU's Schwab - who came in leading the team at 22.3 points per game - to 12 points on 2-of-11 shooting from the field.
AUBURN RECAP . . . It was a game that saw the pendulum of momentum swing back forth several times, but the final swing fell Auburn's way as the Tigers defeated Oregon 101-97 in overtime Dec. 16 at the Las Vegas Showdown. Bryan Bracey scored a career-high 31 points and grabbed 11 rebounds for his second double-double of the season, but it wasn't enough to prevent the Ducks' first loss of the year. Julius Hicks scored a career-high 14 points (all in the first half) and Ben Lindquist came off the bench to tie a career best with 13 points (3-of-3 three-pointers). Anthony Norwood added 16 points (four threes), while Frederick Jones tied career highs with seven assists and three blocks. Oregon out-rebounded Auburn 48-38 (including 14 offensive), but that advantage was offset by the Ducks' 18 turnovers. The Tigers got 27 points off of UO mistakes. The 97 points was the most Oregon has scored in a loss since dropping a 114-106 overtime decision to Nebraska in Hawaii, Nov. 25, 1995.
ILLINOIS-CHICAGO RECAP . . . Bryan Bracey and Frederick Jones each scored 20 points as Oregon, coming off a 10-day break, beat Illinois-Chicago 110-87 Dec. 12 at McArthur Court. Five players scored in double digits as the Ducks scored their most points in four seasons under head coach Ernie Kent, who was rewarded with his 150th career coaching victory. Kent is 60-35 at Oregon, 6-0 this season. The Ducks are one of just 18 undefeated teams left in the nation this season. Joe Scott scored 29 points to lead the Flames (4-4), who also got 17 points and 14 rebounds from Maurice Brown. The Ducks converted 59 percent of their shots, and 12 of 23 3-pointers. Anthony Norwood scored 17, while freshmen Luke Jackson and Luke Ridnour notched career highs of 16 and 14 points, respectively. Oregon led 52-42 at halftime and despite an early run in the second half, couldn't shake Illinois-Chicago until close to the 10-minute mark. Leading 69-58, Oregon went on an 8-0 run as Jackson and Ben Lindquist hit 3-pointers and Jackson added a bank shot to give the Ducks a 77-58 lead with 9:56 left. Consecutive 3-pointers by the Flames cut the lead to 77-64, but the Ducks took a 20-point lead with 4:40 remaining on a floater in the lane by Ridnour and cruised from there. In the first half, Oregon had its 18-point lead trimmed to 10 by halftime as the Flames went on a 20-12 run in the final six minutes, capped by Aaron Carr's 30-foot 3-pointer at the buzzer. The Ducks initially broke the game open with a 14-2 run that turned a 26-20 lead into a 40-22 advantage midway through the first half. During the run, Jones had two 3-pointers and Norwood had one, while Bracey scored six of his 17 first-half points. The 110 points was the most scored by Oregon since the Ducks hit 115 in the 1995-96 season opener against Hawaii-Hilo.
MASSACHUSETTS RECAP . . . Bryan Bracey had a career-high 24 points and Freddie Jones added 23 as Oregon improved to 5-0 for only the second time in 26 years by defeating Massachusetts 91-76 Dec. 2 at the Pape Jam, played the Rose Garden in Portland. Oregon continued its best start since the 1996-97 team went 10-0. Before that, the last time the Ducks won their first five games was in 1974-75, when they also started 10-0. Massachusetts (1-3) was led by Monty Mack's 26 points, but he had just six in the second half. Micah Brand added 19. Anthony Norwood added 12 points as Oregon scored a season-high 50 in the first half and withstood a sloppy second half plagued by fouls and turnovers. The Minutemen were outrebounded for the fourth straight time this season, 34-26. They were beaten 52-30 in that department during a 23-point loss to Holy Cross last Saturday. UMass trailed by 10 at halftime, and stayed within striking distance for much of the second half. But the team hurt itself badly with two mental mistakes that resulted in a six-point possession for the Ducks. With Oregon ahead 58-52, UMass' Jackie Rogers was called for an intentional foul on Jones, who made both free throws. The Minutemen's Eric Williams was then whistled for a technical after throwing an elbow at Anthony Norwood, who made two more from the line. Oregon kept the ball, and Jones made a mid-range jumper for a 64-52 lead with 9:42 to go. UMass got within 67-62, but the Ducks put it away with consecutive jumpers by Ben Lindquist and Bracey with 5:54 left.
PORTLAND RECAP . . . Frederick Jones scored 16 points as Oregon received a scare from Portland but held on to defeat the Pilots for the 20th consecutive time 66-60 Nov. 28 at Mac Court. Luke Ridnour and Anthony Norwood had 11 points each for the Ducks, who got off to a 4-0 start for only the second time in 23 years and the first time in four seasons. Oregon had its 12-point halftime lead nearly erased when its cold shooting at the start of the second half opened the door for a 17-3 run by the Pilots, who got within 45-44 with 9:26 remaining in the game. But Norwood hit a 3-pointer for the Ducks and Jones added a jumper and a dunk to give Oregon a 52-44 cushion. Portland wouldn't go away, though, and with 24 seconds remaining, Ryan Jones made a lay up and was fouled by Frederick Jones. His free throw made it 62-60. But the Pilots couldn't make another shot after that, and Ridnour and Luke Jackson each sank a pair of free throws in the final seconds to secure the Ducks' victory. The last time Portland defeated Oregon was Feb. 18, 1964, an 88-80 win in Eugene. The 20-game streak is Oregon's longest current one over any opponent.
PORTLAND STATE RECAP . . . Oregon's first six baskets were three-pointers in a sloppy first half, but the Ducks turned the game in to a rout by opening the second frame on a 23-3 run and defeated Portland State 84-66 Nov. 25 at Mac Court. All four of Oregon's freshmen had the best performances of their young careers with forward Luke Jackson leading the way with 13 points. Guard Luke Ridnour added 12 points with a career-bests in assists (9) and rebounds (6), while guard James Davis scored 10 and center Jay Anderson added four. Senior forward Bryan Bracey led the veterans with 12 points and eight rebounds. Oregon netted 13 three-pointers for the game, two off the school record of 15.