Ducks Host No. 15 UCLA, USC in Final Home Weekend
Feb. 19, 2001
WHAT'S ON TAP . . . The Ducks play their final home games of the season this weekend, hosting UCLA on Thursday, Feb. 22 at 7 p.m. and USC on Saturday, Feb. 24 at 6 p.m. The Oregon Sports Network will carry the both games live to a regional audience.
TIME CHANGE . . . The starting time of Oregon's home finale versus USC on Saturday, Feb. 24 has been changed from 7 p.m. to 6 p.m. to accommodate the Oregon Sports Network's live broadcast of the game.
SENIOR SALUTE . . . Saturday, Oregon will bid farewell to seven seniors who will be making their final regular season appearance at Mac Court. Student managers Andy Whiteside and Nick Graham will join players Bryan Bracey, Flo Hartenstein, Julius Hicks, David Jackson and Kristian Kristensen in pre-game ceremonies.
IN TRIPLICATE . . . Luke Jackson's rare triple-double (14 pts., 11 reb., 10 asst.) in Saturday's win over Washington sent everyone to the record books for some perspective. Some of the more interesting facts about Jackson's accomplishment: * is the first by an Oregon player since Ron Lee, Dec. 7, 1972, versus Montana State (24 pts., 12 reb., 11 asst.) * is the second by a freshman since the Pac-10 started keeping track in 1985, joining Jelani McCoy of UCLA (15 pts., 10 reb., 11 blocks vs. Stephen F. Austin, Feb. 23, 1995) * is the first freshman to record a triple-double in a Pac-10 league game * is just the 14th triple-double since the Pac-10 started keeping track in 1985 * the 11 rebounds and 10 assists were both career highs, in fact, Jackson had just 31 assists for the entire season prior to Saturday's game
A LITTLE DUCK 'D' . . . Oregon has turned up the defense in its last four games, allowing just 67.5 points per game over that span. The Ducks were allowing 77.3 points per game prior to that stretch, which began Feb. 8 versus Stanford. You can credit a healthy Julius Hicks for part of that improvement, the senior from San Francisco has 10 blocks in the last three games.
OREGON TENTATIVE STARTERS
F 33 Luke Jackson 6-7 210 Fr. 7.8 ppg, 4.0 rpgF 42 Bryan Bracey 6-7 210 Sr. 18.8 ppg, 7.0 rpg, .507 FG Pct.C 21 Julius Hicks 6-8 235 Sr. 7.8 ppg, 4.7 rpg, .640 FG Pct.G 13 Luke Ridnour 6-2 165 Fr. 8.2 ppg, 2.5 rpg, 3.8 apgG 20 Frederick Jones 6-4 209 Jr. 14.3 ppg, 5.6 rpg, 3.4 apg
HEAD COACH ERNIE KENT . . . Ernie Kent (Oregon `77) is in his fourth year at Oregon. He has a 67-45 ledger with the Ducks and a 10-year career record of 157-125. 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).
KENT FEATURED . . . As part of February's Black History Month, the Eugene Public Library is featuring a display on Ernie Kent as one of the city's prominent Black Americans.
STEADY FREDDIE . . . Junior guard Frederick Jones ranks in Oregon's career top 10 in four categories: assists (239/ninth), blocks (55/6th), steals (76/10th) and three pointers (93/7th). The Gresham, Ore., native has scored 911 career points entering the weekend and could become the 22nd member of Oregon's 1,000-point club by season's end.
STOP BUGGING ME . . . Oregon has been remarkably injury-free this season, something that can be attributed to the hard work of strength and conditioning coach Jim Radcliffe and athletic trainer Clay Jamieson. When Julius Hicks missed two games in Los Angeles Jan. 25-27 with a sprained right ankle, he was the first Duck to miss a game due to injury since Flo Hartenstein sat out Oregon's two preseason games recovering from knee surgery.
LUCKY SEVEN . . . Under Ernie Kent, Oregon is 18-10 in its last 28 games decided by seven points or less.
TRIPLE PLAY . . . Oregon is second in the Pac-10 in three-pointers made per game at 7.39. Individually, Anthony Norwood is sixth in three-pointers per outing, hitting 1.9 a game. The Ducks have made at least 10 three-pointers seven times this season, with a high of 13 coming Nov. 25 against Portland State (two shy of the school record of 15).
THE LIFE OF BRYAN . . . The No. 2 scorer in the Pac-10, senior forward Bryan Bracey continues to be one of the most improved players in 2000-01. He has scored in double figures in 19 straight games and all but one game overall this season (Portland). 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 18.8 points and 7.0 boards a game. He is shooting 50.7 percent (148-of-292) from the field. 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). He got his third double-double (23 pts., 10 reb.) in the overtime loss to Washington (plus a career-high five steals) and followed that with 17 points and 10 rebounds against Washington State. He then scored 20 at both USC and UCLA and led the team with 23 points in the upset of No. 7 Arizona. Bracey scored 25 at Washington State and followed that with his fifth double-double of the year with 16 points and 10 rebounds in the win over Washington. That's 12 20-point efforts in 23 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).
RIGHT SAID FRED . . . It was expected that Frederick Jones would see an increase in his scoring average, and he has: 14.3 points per game through 23 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 5.6 per game (up from 3.9 rpg a year ago). Jones, who now ranks in Oregon's career top 10 in three-point field goals, assists, blocks and steals, 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. He had 19 points, eight rebounds and eight assists against WSU. His strong play continued with 21 points at USC and 22 points at UCLA. It was the second time this season Jones has posted consecutive 20-point games. Then he had a team-high 22 points in the win at Washington.
THE FORCE IS STRONG WITH THIS ONE . . . 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. The triple-double aside (see page 1), he's starting to heat up again and is averaging 10.2 points per game over the last five with 10 against Arizona State, nine versus Stanford, 10 against Cal, nine at Washington State and 14 at Washington (to go along with 11 rebounds and 10 assists). He is hitting 50.0 percent (19-of-38) from the floor during that span. He led the team in scoring Jan. 11 at Cal with 12 points and led the team in rebounding two days later at Stanford with seven. Then he scored 15 points (one shy of his career high) with six boards Jan. 18 against Washington. He got his first collegiate start Jan. 20 against Washington State and scored nine points with seven rebounds. Jackson scored a career-high 16 points in the 110-87 defeat of UIC on Dec. 12.
NEW JUICE ON THE BLOCK . . . It looks like senior center Julius 'Juice' Hicks is feeling healthy again. Hicks was a machine with 18 blocks in 15 games before suffering a sprained right ankle prior to the Jan. 25 game at USC. He missed two games and his production suffered for a couple of weeks, but recently, there have been signs of the old Juice. He's blocked 10 shots in the last three games (including a career-high five at Washington State) and scored 12 points in the win at Washington. He's shooting 64.0 percent from the field for the year (71-of-111) to lead the Pac-10! The long arms of Hicks have also been on display this year. On the season, Hicks has 29 blocks and ranks fifth in the Pac-10 (1.4 bpg). His 29 blocks are tied for sixth with Jerry Adams (1985-86) and Brett Coffey (1988-89) among Oregon's top 10 single seasons. He also ranks ninth in career blocks with 40. The San Francisco native is averaging 7.8 points and 4.7 rebounds per game.
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. The only Duck to start every game this season, Ridnour has nearly a two-to-one assist-to-turnover ratio (87-to-54), is fourth in scoring at 8.2 points per game and leads the team at 3.8 assists per game (sixth in the Pac-10). 'Rid' had a season-high nine assists in the Nov. 25 Portland State game. He scored 15 points in the Louisville win. He had eight assists and no turnovers Feb. 25 at USC. Ridnour followed that with a then-career-high 16 points at UCLA. Then in his next game, Rid scored a career-high 17 points in the upset of No. 7 Arizona. In his homecoming at Washington, Ridnour scored 14 points. Back in 1993-94, Wilkins set the UO frosh assists record with 142.
THE GREAT DANE . . . You've got to give junior center Chris Christoffersen his due. With Julius Hicks out with a sprained ankle, Christoffersen scored eight points against USC and followed that with a career-high 15 points at UCLA. The Roenne, Denmark, native went toe-to-toe with the Bruins' Dan Gadzuric and matched the UCLA seven-footer's numbers all the way. Points: 15 each. Rebounds: 7-6 in favor of Big Chris. Field Goal Percentage: .800 for Chris, .500 for Gadzuric. Christoffersen's career effort against the Bruins came one week to the day after setting a then-career-high with 11 points against Washington State (Jan. 20). He also registered an impressive defensive performance against Arizona that included three blocks and several altered shots.
FLO MOJO . . . Senior center Flo Hartenstein continues to contribute after preseason knee surgery that caused him to miss nearly all of fall camp. He recently played in his 100th career game Jan. 25 at USC. 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. Hartenstein had a pair of blocked shots in the upset of No. 7 Arizona and another against Stanford to give him 39 career, which is tied for 10th all time at UO. He had a steal against California, leaving the German just four 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. He made his first start of the season Jan. 20 against WSU. He tied his career high with 30 minutes of action in the near-upset of Stanford.
ON THE MARK ANTHONY . . . One of Oregon's best players down the stretch last season, junior guard Anthony 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. Norwood is third on the team in scoring (10.0 ppg) and leads the team with 43 threes.
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 threes off the bench.
ABOUT UCLA . . . UCLA is 17-6 overall and 10-2 in the Pac-10. The Bruins trail conference-leading Stanford by just one game and have won seven of their last eight. UCLA defeated Arizona in overtime 79-77 and Arizona State 73-68 last week. Sophomore Jason Kapono leads the Bruins at 17.8 points per game. Three other Bruins are also in double figures, including Earl Watson (14.6), Dan Gadzuric (11.2) and Matt Barnes (10.5). Billy Knight has been solid in recent weeks and is averaging 8.2 points per game in league play.
TENTATIVE UCLA STARTERS
F 23 Matt Barnes 6-7 230 Jr. 10.5 ppg, 6.9 rpgF 24 Jason Kapono 6-7 206 So. 17.8 ppg, 5.7 rpgC 50 Dan Gadzuric 6-11 235 Jr. 11.2 ppg, 8.0 rpg, 1.4 bpgG 3 Billy Knight 6-5 203 Jr. 6.3 ppg, 1.6 rpg,G 25 Earl Watson 6-1 195 Sr. 14.6 ppg, 3.3 rpg, 5.6 apg
ABOUT USC . . . USC is 17-7 overall and 7-5 in the Pac-10. Sam Clancy has led the Trojans in scoring all year and is currently at 17.6 points per game. Brian Scalabrine is at 15.8, while David Bluthenthal is at 13.3 and Brandon Granville 12.7. Granville is one of the best assist men in the country at 6.3 per game. The game features two players - USC's Jeff Trepagnier and Oregon's Frederick Jones - who were recently selected by ESPN as two of the nation's top dunkers. The Trojans play at Oregon State Thursday night.
TENTATIVE USC STARTERS
F 24 Brian Scalabrine 6-9 250 Sr. 15.8 ppg, 5.5 rpg, 2.6 apgF 34 David Bluthenthal 6-7 220 Jr. 13.3 ppg, 7.1 rpgC 50 Sam Clancy 6-7 240 Jr. 17.6 ppg, 6.8 rpg, 2.2 bpgG 5 Brandon Granville 5-9 175 Jr. 12.7 ppg, 2.6 rpg, 6.3 apgG 12 Jeff Trepagnier 6-4 195 Sr. 7.7 ppg, 4.8 rpg
CLIMBING THE CHARTS . . . Flo Hartenstein and Frederick Jones are wasting no time in trying to leave their marks on the Oregon career charts. Jones is now ranked in the career top 10 in four categories: three-point field goals, assists, blocks and steals. He has 239 career assists, which ranks ninth ahead of David Girley (228/1983-87) and Ron Lee (226/1973-77). Next is No. 8 Chris Harper (1983-85) at 241. He has 93 career threes (7th). Next up is former teammate Alex Scales (104/1998-2000). Jones is in sole possession of 10th in steals with 76, just one behind ninth place Keith Balderston (77/1984-88). Jones had two blocks against Washington to bring his career total to 55 (sixth), two behind Jerry Adams (57/1981-86). Hartenstein is tied for 10th in career blocks with Kyle Milling (1995-97) at 39. Julius hicks was the big mover this week with eight blocks. That put him at 40 career (10th) and 29 on the season (tied for sixth). Chris Christoffersen needs six blocks to crack the career top 10. On the other side of the coin, Hartenstein had a pair of steals last weekend, which leaves the German with 72 career and just four shy from entering that career top 10.
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), sharpshooter 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.
WASHINGTON RECAP . . . Luke Jackson recorded a triple-double as Oregon used the 3-pointer to take a big second-half lead and held on for an 85-73 victory over Washington Feb. 17 at the new Bank of America Arena. Despite leading the Pac-10 in 3-pointers, the Ducks hit just one in the first half, but connected on five during a 23-10 run in the second half that put the game out of reach. Jackson had 14 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists for Oregon. It was the first triple-double by an Oregon player since Ron Lee turned the trick Dec. 7, 1972, against Montana State. Frederick Jones scored a game-high 22 points while Bryan Bracey scored 16 and Luke Ridnour and 14 for the Ducks. Bracey grabbed 10 rebounds to notch his fifth double-double of the season. Freshman C.J. Massingale scored 18 points, with Will Perkins adding 17 and freshman Curtis Allen 14 for Washington. Leading by five points early in the second half, the Ducks hit five 3-pointers during their decisive 23-10 run. Ridnour made two 3-pointers during the run and Jackson capped it with a 3-pointer that gave Oregon a 67-49 lead with 12:17 remaining. Washington made one last run at the Ducks, as Allen scored five points during an 18-6 run that cut Oregon's lead to 79-73 with 1:53 remaining. The Ducks made six stright free throws in the final minute to seal the win. The Ducks led for most of the first half and took their largest lead of the half at 31-17 on a layup by Jackson with 5:27 remaining in the half.
WASHINGTON STATE RECAP . . . Mike Bush's free throw with 5 1/2 seconds remaining gave Washington State a 63-62 Pac-10 conference victory over Oregon Feb. 15 in Pullman. After hitting the front-end of a two-shot foul, Bush missed the second attempt, sending Oregon's Luke Ridnour on a mad scramble down the court. Washington State knocked the ball away and the Cougars' Framecio Little recovered to seal the victory. Washington State was hampered by 35 percent shooting in the first half, but used an 11-1 run to cut Oregon's lead to 28-26 at halftime. The Cougars continued their run in the second half, outscoring Oregon by 17-8 over the first eight minutes and extending the lead to as many as seven points. Oregon's Bryan Bracey scored 13 points in a four-minute span to tie the game at 50 and set up a see-saw final seven minutes. Bracey led all scorers with 25 points, while Frederick Jones added 14. Sophomore David Adams paced the Cougars with 16 points.
CALIFORNIA RECAP . . . Sean Lampley had 17 points and 10 rebounds as California recovered from a poor first half to defeat Oregon 65-56 Feb. 10 at Mac Court. Cal closed the game on a 16-7 run to beat Oregon at McArthur Court for the first time in four years. Bryan Bracey had 13 points and eight rebounds off the bench for the Ducks. Lampley's jumper with 6:51 remaining gave the Golden Bears their final lead of the game, 51-49. They made six of eight free throws in the final 1:18 to seal it. Cal shot just 26 percent in the first half (5-of-19), but trailed only 26-22 because the Ducks shot 36 percent. The lead changed hands 13 times in the second half, and there were seven ties. Cal took its first lead of the game on two free throws by Brian Wethers with 18:18 to go. The game stayed close until Cal scored six straight points to make it 57-50. Oregon led 11-5 after four minutes as Julius Hicks, starting at forward instead of Bracey, found success inside with six straight points. The Ducks pushed the lead to 19-8 on Anthony Norwood's 3-pointer, but went cold in the final 10 minutes. Cal outscored Oregon 14-7, capped by a 3-pointer from Ryan Forehan-Kelly. Joe Shipp added 12 points for Cal. Hicks had 11 for the Ducks, while Luke Jackson added 10. Freddie Jones just missed a double-double with 10 rebounds and nine points.
STANFORD RECAP . . . Jason Collins had 19 points and 11 rebounds as No. 2 Stanford used a 20-6 run during the final 5 1/2 minutes to hold off Oregon 69-62 Feb. 8 at Mac Court. Casey Jacobsen added 13 points for the Cardinal, which narrowly avoided its second straight upset loss. Bryan Bracey scored 12 of his 15 points in the second half to lead the Ducks. Stanford entered leading the conference in virtually every statistical category, including free-throw shooting at 74 percent. But the Cardinal shot just 21-of-37 against the Ducks. Conversely, Oregon had only seven free throw attempts the entire night. Collins was 4-of-9, and his twin brother Jarron was 6-of-14. That was a big reason why Stanford found itself trailing 56-49 after Bracey made a 3-pointer with 6:06 remaining. Oregon went the next 4:19 without a point, however, and Stanford slowly came back. Jarron Collins hit two free throws, Jason Collins converted a layup and Ryan Mendez hit a 3-pointer to tie it at 56. A left-handed layup by Jacobsen pushed the Cardinal's lead to 62-56 with just over two minutes to go. Oregon twice cut the lead to three, but Mendez made six straight free throws in the last 34.2 seconds to seal the victory. Oregon had success inside but couldn't keep its big men in the game. Backup center Julius Hicks fouled out with 8:35 to go, and third-stringer Chris Christoffersen followed him to the bench with 5:21 left. The Ducks' other frontline players, Bracey and Flo Hartenstein, played the final six minutes with four fouls. Hartenstein, who is playing on bad knees, played a career-high 30 minutes.
ARIZONA STATE RECAP . . . Awvee Storey scored 23 points to lead six players in double figures as Arizona State opened the second half with a 21-4 run to blow out Oregon 99-72 Feb. 4 at McArthur Court. Arizona State shot a season-high 62 percent with its most lopsided defeat of Oregon since a 40-point win in Tempe on Jan. 5, 1981. Freddie Jones scored 14 to lead Oregon, which was coming off its best performance of the season in a 79-67 win over No. 7 Arizona. The Ducks endured their worst home loss since falling to Arizona 92-60 on Jan. 28, 1993. The Sun Devils led 48-38 at halftime, then effectively ended the game early in the second half. Alton Mason scored 17 points, and Chad Prewitt and Tommy Smith each had 15 for the Sun Devils. Storey added 12 rebounds. The Ducks, who had been one of the best 3-point shooting teams in the Pac-10, made just 4 of 22.
ARIZONA RECAP . . . With Luke Ridnour getting career highs in points (17) and rebounds (7), Oregon beat No. 7 Arizona 79-67 Feb. 1 at Mac Court. It was the first time in 17 years that Oregon had defeated the Wildcats twice in a row, the Ducks stopped then-No. 3 Arizona 86-81 last March. Bryan Bracey led Oregon with 23 points, while Tucson, Ariz., native Anthony Norwood added 11. Chris Christoffersen came off the bench to be a factor for the fourth straight game, scoring five points and blocking three shots, including one on Arizona's Loren Woods that seem to set the tone for the game. The Wildcats shot a season-low 35 percent and committed 18 turnovers, including six traveling violations. 'We got beat every way that you could get beat,' Arizona coach Lute Olson said. 'It seemed like out of every 10 loose balls, Oregon was getting nine of them, and that's just an indication of how focused they were.' Michael Wright led the Wildcats with 18 points and 14 rebounds. Arizona's 67 points were a season low by two, and the team missed 10 of its 12 3-pointers. Christoffersen had five points and three blocks, including two on Woods. Oregon took a 9-8 lead six minutes in and didn't trail again. A layup by Wright cut the lead to 32-27 early in the second half, but Oregon kept building from there. A fastbreak layup by Norwood, which followed Christoffersen's block of Woods, pushed the lead to nine. A basket and two free throws by Julius Hicks, playing with a sprained right ankle, plus a layup by Bracey, made it 56-40 with 10:17 to play. Arizona couldn't get closer than eight after that.
UCLA RECAP . . . Matt Barnes scored a career-high 26 points and sparked UCLA's second-half comeback as the Bruins beat Oregon 98-88 Jan. 27 in Pauley Pavilion. Frederick Jones led Oregon with 22 points, while Bryan Bracey added 20, Luke Ridnour scored 16 and Chris Christoffersen had 15. The points were career highs for Christoffersen and Ridnour. Earl Watson added 20 points and seven assists, Jason Kapono had 18 points and Dan Gadzuric 15 points for the Bruins. UCLA stepped up its full-court defense in the second half against the second-highest scoring team in the conference. Trailing by 10, the Bruins used a 35-17 run to take a 77-65 lead. Barnes had 10 points in the spurt, including a dunk off his own steal at midcourt. Oregon, which has lost 17 straight on UCLA's home court, contended with foul trouble during the Bruins' scoring burst. The Ducks had three players foul out, including centers Flo Hartenstein and Christoffersen, who had a career-high seven rebounds. Despite the absence of their big men, the Ducks controlled the boards, 40-33. UCLA's effort to get back into the game and take a commanding lead seemed to wear out the Bruins. That allowed the Ducks to rally briefly and cut their deficit to 82-77 with 4:33 remaining. But Kapono answered with a 3-pointer, then Barnes scored four straight as the Bruins pulled away.
USC RECAP . . . The No. 25 Southern California Trojans played 35 minutes of solid basketball, then held on nervously. Up by 16 with 5:08 remaining, the Trojans were outscored 18-5 over the next 3:37 before finally putting Oregon away 78-74 Jan. 25 at the L.A. Sports Arena. Sam Clancy had 21 points and five blocks and Brian Scalabrine added 20 points for USC. Despite their furious finish, the Ducks got no closer than three points in the waning moments. Frederick Jones had 21 points in the loss, and Bryan Bracey had 20. The Trojans were up 68-52 with 5:08 remaining before the Ducks narrowed the gap to 73-70 on Jones' layup and free throw with 1:31 left. But Clancy hit a jumper to build the lead back to 75-70 with one minute remaining, and the Ducks got no closer than three the rest of the way. Scalabrine had nine rebounds as the Trojans dominated the boards 36-18. The Trojans also held the Ducks 10 points below their average of 84.3 a game, which had ranked them No. 16 nationally in offense. USC opened a 13-point lead during the first half, was up 35-25 at halftime and seemed in control until Oregon's late rally. Luke Ridnour added eight assists with no turnovers for the Ducks.
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