Ducks Drill Louisville, 90-63
Nov 24, 2001
By LANDON HALL
AP Sports Writer
PORTLAND, Ore. - Freddie Jones scored 20 points, and Oregon got someunusually strong play from its big men to dominate Rick Pitino's Louisvilleteam 90-63 Saturday night.
Robert Johnson added 10 rebounds for the Ducks (4-0), who have won theirgames by a combined 140 points but needed to face a good opponent likeLouisville to show how much they've improved over last season's 14-14 team.
Erik Brown scored 20 points and Ellis Myles had 15 points and 13 rebounds tolead Louisville, which quickly found out that Oregon is no South Alabama. TheCardinals (1-1) routed that team 92-38 last week at Freedom Hall in Pitino'sdebut.
Louisville forced 36 turnovers in the opener, but the Ducks held onto theball better, and they knew where to get it.
Center Chris Christoffersen, a 7-foot-2, 300-pound Dane who's still learningthe game, had 13 points, including six during a quick 8-2 run to start thesecond half, when the Ducks expanded their lead to 24.
Christoffersen, who averaged just 3.3 points and 9.0 minutes last season,put a spin move on Myles along the baseline for a layup and a free throw thatmade it 68-43 with 9:52 left.
Oregon actually started pulling away midway through the first half, whenLouisville was within 17-16. Luke Jackson made a 3-pointer, and reserve forwardBrian Helquist had three inside baskets to keep the run going.
Two free throws and a 3-pointer by Luke Ridnour ended a 22-9 surge that putOregon ahead 48-30 at halftime.
Helquist, a 6-foot-9 transfer from Florida Community College inJacksonville, had 10 points. He's joined by Johnson, another newcomer, inreplacing last season's fairly weak front line of Flo Hartenstein and JuliusHicks.
The 6-8 Johnson, who came from Santa Rosa (Calif.) Junior College, had onlyeight points, but his and Helquist's play freed up the outside shooters. LukeRidnour had 13 points.
Oregon also blew out Louisville last season, 88-65, and the Cardinals wenton to finish a miserable 12-19. Crum resigned, ending an outstanding 30-yeartenure that produced 675 victories and two national titles. Pitino was broughtin after resigning from the Boston Celtics.
The Ducks, meantime, started 10-1 before faltering, and a big reason wasdefense: Oregon gave up an average of 77.3 points.
After hiring defense-minded assistant coach Fred Litzenberger from theOregon women's team, the Ducks appear to be much better. In three games onsuccessive nights last week, they gave up 55.7 points, albeit against inferioropponents in their own building.
While Louisville shot just 38 percent, Oregon shot 51 percent and committed15 turnovers, two fewer than the Cardinals.