Oregon Opens Pac-10 Play With ASU, Arizona
Dec. 17, 2001
WHAT'S ON TAP . . . Oregon opens Pac-10 play by hosting Arizona State and Arizona at McArthur Court the weekend before Christmas. It all begins with Oregon facing off against Arizona State on Thursday, Dec. 20 at 7:00 p.m. Then No. 11 Arizona visits for a 6:00 p.m. game on Saturday, Dec. 22 that will be shown live regionally in the Pacific Northwest on Fox Sports Net. The Ducks are in the midst of a scheduling quirk that has them facing schools from the state of Arizona five times in six games - one against Northern Arizona and two each against Arizona State and Arizona.
TENTATIVE OREGON STARTERS
F 3 Robert Johnson 6-8 235 Jr. 10.0 ppg, 8.2 rpg, .571 FG Pct.F 33 Luke Jackson 6-7 215 So. 12.8 ppg, 5.6 rpg, 3.0 apgC 25 Chris Christoffersen 7-2 300 Sr. 10.2 ppg, 5.9 rpg, .574 FG Pct.G 13 Luke Ridnour 6-2 165 So. 13.6 ppg, 3.7 rpg, 4.6 apgG 20 Frederick Jones 6-4 209 Sr. 13.6 ppg, 4.6 rpg, 3.1 apg
QUICK HITS...A brief look at what to watch for this week:
High Octane. The Ducks are averaging a Pac-10 best 83.6 points per game. That number climbs even higher -- to 90.8 points per game -- when the Ducks play at McArthur Court.
Sharp Shooting. Thursday's game features the top two shooting teams in the Pac-10: Oregon at 49.1 percent and Arizona State at 47.8 percent.
Bombs Away. Saturday's game features the top two three-point teams in the league. Oregon makes 8.1 threes per game, while Arizona hits 7.7.
Senior guard Frederick Jones had six assists against Pepperdine to move into seventh in that career category and is now the only Duck to rank in the UO top seven in career steals, blocks, three-point field goals and assists, he also recorded his 100th career steal and his 100th career three-pointer against the Waves.
Jones, who will play in his 100th career game Thursday, is threatening to become the only player in the UO career top six in those categories this weekend. Already fourth in steals (102) and fifth in blocked shots (60), he has 103 career threes and needs just one to move into sixth. In career assists, Jones' 284 is just seven out of sixth place.
The Pepperdine game was a big one for career notes for Jones. He scored 21 points and moved from 19th to 16th on the UO career scoring list. With another 15 Sunday against Northern Arizona he now has 1,116 career and needs 36 more to enter the top 15.
Eight points. That's the difference between Oregon's current 6-3 mark and a perfect 9-0 record. The Ducks lost their three road games by a combined eight points.
Defense. The Ducks continue to be a much-improved defensive team. Through its first nine games, Oregon is surrendering just 62.3 points per game, compared to 75.6 ppg at the same point a year ago.
A balanced attack. Through the first nine games, the five starters are averaging between 10.8 and 13.6 points per game.
Continued contributions from the bench. In losses to UMass and Portland, the bench players struggled, scoring just three points against the Minutemen and 12 against the Pilots. The reserves got back on track with 26 points in the loss to Minnesota and had 33 in the win over Pepperdine (though 21 of those points came from Jones, who did not start for the first time this season). With Jones' help again, the bench was big with 36 in Sunday's win over Northern Arizona. Mark Michaelis had a career-high seven points in that win.
Jones, who became the 22nd 1,000-point scorer at UO in the season opener, has two MVP awards already this season (America's Youth Classic and the Pape Jam).
Jones moved into the UO career top five in blocked shots against Alabama State, and enters the Arizona State game with 60, needing three more for fourth place.
Jones moved into fourth in UO career steals during the Minnesota game and now has 102. He needs 12 more for third place.
Sophomore guard Luke Jackson had a career-best effort in scoring with 28 points at Portland. But his best all-around game was his triple-double (14 pts, 11 reb, 10 ast) last year at Washington.
Senior center Chris Christoffersen recently notched his first career double-double with 12 points and 11 rebounds at Massachusetts.
JC transfer Robert Johnson is making a tremendous impact up front. Johnson has three 10-rebound games in his first nine outings as a Duck and leads the team at 8.2 boards per game. Johnson debuted with a double-double -- 14 points and 10 rebounds -- against Alabama State and was named to the America's Youth Classic all-tournament team.
Christoffersen climbed to ninth in UO career blocks against Massachusetts and now has 45, he'll move into eighth with three more.
Senior guard Anthony Lever enters the UO career top 10 with five more 3 FG.
UNDER THE RADAR . . . Some things you might have overlooked in the first eight games:
Coming off the bench, senior guard Anthony Lever is shooting 51.9 percent (14-of-27) from three-point range.
Northern Arizona was the first opponent to out-rebound Oregon this season. The Ducks still have a wide rebound margin of 40.4 to 30.4.
HEAD COACH ERNIE KENT . . . Ernie Kent (Oregon '77) is in his fifth year at Oregon. He has a 74-52 ledger with the Ducks and an 11-year career record of 164-132. He was an assistant coach for the 2001 USA Basketball 21-and-Under team that won the gold medal at the summer games in Japan. He also holds posts on the NCAA Basketball Issues Committee and is a member of the NABC's Board of Directors.
Kent won his 150th game as a collegiate head coach Dec. 12, 2000, versus Illinois-Chicago (110-87). He won more games in his first four seasons as Oregon's head coach (68) than any other Oregon mentor since Howard Hobson (93) from 1935-36 through 1938-39. The former six-year Saint Mary's (Calif.) coach led the Ducks to the NCAA Tournament in 1999-00 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).
COACHING STAFF . . . Assistant Greg Graham is in his fifth season, while Scott Duncan is in his second season. Fred Litzenberger is in his first season after spending the last six years with the Oregon women. Mark Hudson is in his fifth year with the program, but is in his first as director of basketball operations.
KENT CLIMBS COACHING LADDER . . . With six wins this season, Ernie Kent has moved up to seventh in Oregon career coaching victories. He moved past his predecessor, Jerry Green, when the Ducks defeated Pepperdine.
Coach (years) W L1. Howard Hobson (1936-47) 212 1242. W.J. Reinhart (1924-35) 180 1003. Steve Belko (1957-71) 179 2114. Don Monson (1984-92) 116 1455. Dick Harter (1972-78) 112 826. John Warren (1945-51) 87 767. Ernie Kent (1998-02) 74 518. Jerry Green (1993-97) 72 709. Bill Borcher (1952-56) 70 67
LUCKY SEVEN . . . Under Ernie Kent, Oregon is 18-14 in its last 32 games decided by seven points or less.
WHO CAN IT BE NOW? . . . It's been difficult to zero in on Oregon's top scorer. A different player led Oregon in scoring in five of the first six games, and then four players tied for high honors at Minnesota. Against Alabama State sophomore guard James Davis led the way with a career-high 18 points, including six-of-eight from three-point land. Senior center Chris Christoffersen scored a career-high 18 points against Western Michigan, hitting seven-of-10 from the floor. Then Pac-10 freshman of the year Luke Ridnour scored a then-career-high 18 points in Oregon's win over Long Beach State. Senior guard Frederick Jones kept that streak alive with a 20 versus Louisville. Jones was again the high scorer with 13 at Massachusetts, but three other Ducks were right on his tail with 12. Then it was sophomore guard Luke Jackson's turn with a career-high 28 points at Portland. At Minnesota, it was Jones, Christoffersen, Ridnour and Davis all with 11 points. Jones was again the high player with a season-best 21 against Pepperdine. And the sharing continued against Northern Arizona as three players -- Jones, Jackson and Ridnour -- each scored 15 points.
REMEMBER THE 90s? . . . For just the second time in school history, Oregon scored 90 or more points in four straight games -- 92 against Alabama State, 91 against Western Michigan, 97 against Long Beach State and 90 against Louisville to open the season. The only other time that happened was 32 years ago when Steve Belko's 1969-70 squad posted 98 points against California, 92 versus Stanford, 121 against Portland and 92 against USC from Feb. 13-20.
CH-CH-CH-CHANGES...Anthony Lever, formerly Anthony Norwood, changed his last name to that of his natural father, former Arizona State and NBA star Lafayette 'Fat' Lever, during the summer. Walk-on redshirt senior guard Kristian Christensen will be wearing No. 21 -- the same number he wore as a freshman -- after donning No. 12 the last two years.
BASKETBALL JONES . . . Senior guard Frederick Jones is the only player in school history ranked among Oregon's career top seven in three-point field goals, assists, blocks and steals. A preseason all-Pac-10 pick by ESPN.com (along with Casey Jacobsen of Stanford, Jason Kapono of UCLA, Sam Clancy of USC and Jason Gardner of Arizona), Jones became the 22nd member of Oregon's 1,000-point club in the season opener against Alabama State. Jones was an all-Pac-10 honorable mention selection a year ago after averaging 14.8 points and 5.6 rebounds per game.
ADD JONES . . . Joe Dwyer of FOXSports.com has tabbed Jones and Marist's Sean Kennedy as the two vastly underrated players that he will keep track of in a weekly watch.
AFTER RID-NIGHT . . . Luke Ridnour became the first player in Oregon history to be named Pac-10 freshman of the year. He averaged 7.4 points, 2.5 rebounds and 3.8 assists per game. 'Rid' was the first true freshman to start at the point for Oregon since Kenya Wilkins in 1993-94 and posted an impressive assist-to-turnover ratio of 106-to-67.
ABOUT ARIZONA STATE . . . Arizona State (5-2) has reeled off four consecutive wins since a surprising 79-69 overtime loss to Portland State and a tough 82-70 decision at Brigham Young. Since the loss to the Cougars, ASU has defeated UC Riverside (73-64), Prairie View A&M (100-62), Utah (71-62) and Montana State (72-69). Senior center Chad Prewitt leads the Sun Devils at 13.6 points per game, while junior forward Tommy Smith scores 12.4 points per game and newcomer Curtis Millage, a junior guard, is at 11.9 points per game.
TENTATIVE ARIZONA STATE STARTERS
F 4 Tommy Smith 6-10 215 Jr. 12.4 ppg, 5.4 rpgF 11 Awvee Storey 6-6 222 Sr. 9.7 ppg, 5.6 rpgC 52 Chad Prewitt 6-9 241 Sr. 13.6 ppg, 5.4 rpg, 2.3 apgG 3 Kyle Dodd 6-0 165 Jr. 3.7 ppg, 1.3 rpg, 2.6 apgG 14 Curtis Millage 6-2 175 Jr. 11.9 ppg, 2.6 rpg, 2.6 apg
LAST YEAR VS. ARIZONA STATE . . . TEMPE: Alton Mason hit 17 of 19 free throws attempts and scored 25 points in leading Arizona State to an 86-74 victory over Oregon March 1 in Tempe. The Sun Devils took control with a 24-4 run early in the second half as Tommy Smith scored 11 points. Oregon was on top 38-32 when the Sun Devils' big run started one minute into the second half. Seven minutes later, Arizona State was up 56-44. Oregon, which got a career-high 36 points from Frederick Jones, drew no closer than five points the rest of the way as Arizona State, shooting 59 percent from the field, claimed its second victory over the Ducks this season. Jones' effort was the most by an Oregon player since Orlando Williams scored 40 points at Washington State Feb. 19, 1994. Arizona State took a 15-5 early lead, but Oregon got back in the game with an 11-0 run and led 37-31 at the half. Jones scored 17 of his points in the first half while Arizona State committed 16 turnovers. Smith finished with 17 points for Arizona State on 8 of 10 shooting from the field. Bryan Bracey produced 21 points for Oregon. EUGENE: 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. 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. Mason scored 17 points, and Chad Prewitt and 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.
ABOUT ARIZONA . . . Arizona (5-2) will play its first game of the season against an unranked opponent when it faces Oregon State Thursday night in Corvallis. The young Wildcats have defeated Maryland (71-67), Florida (75-71), Texas (88-74), Illinois (87-82) and Purdue (79-66). Their losses have come against Kansas (105-97), and Michigan State (74-60) in their most recent game. Junior guard Jason Gardner is the top scorers in the Pac-10 at 23.1 points per game, while junior forward Rick Anderson is at 14.6 points per game and junior forward Luke Walton scores 13.1 points per game. The Wildcats have gone with a short bench this season as only eight players average more than 10 minutes per game.
TENTATIVE ARIZONA STARTERS
F 4 Luke Walton 6-8 241 Jr. 13.1 ppg, 8.9 rpg, 5.4 apgF 33 Rick Anderson 6-9 213 Jr. 14.6 ppg, 7.1 rpg, 1.4 bpgC 52 Isaiah Fox 6-9 265 Fr. 6.6 ppg, 5.3 rpgG 3 Will Bynum 5-10 183 Fr. 6.6 ppg, 2.4 rpgG 22 Jason Gardner 5-10 181 Jr. 23.1 ppg, 4.3 rpg, 4.3 apg
LAST YEAR VS. ARIZONA . . . TUCSON: Loren Woods, in his last McKale Center appearance, broke out of his season-long funk as the ninth-ranked Arizona Wildcats avenged their worst loss of the season with a 104-65 rout of Oregon March 3. Woods scored 17 points on 8-for-10 shooting and had seven rebounds, four assists and two blocked shots. He even made a 3-pointer on his final shot. All five starters were in double figures for the Wildcats, who had lost two in a row to Oregon. It was Oregon's worst loss since the Wildcats beat the Ducks 104-56 on Feb. 27, 1992, and Arizona's highest-scoring game in three years. Michael Wright scored 18 points for Arizona, while Gilbert Arenas had 14, Richard Jefferson 13 and Jason Gardner 11. Luke Jackson scored 15 points to lead the Ducks. Bryan Bracey, the No. 2 scorer in the Pac-10, had seven to snap his string of 21 consecutive double-digit games. EUGENE: With Luke Ridnour getting then-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. Bracey led Oregon with 23 points, while Tucson, Ariz., native Anthony Lever 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. 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. 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 Lever, 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.
CLIMBING THE CHARTS . . . A trio of Ducks are climbing the Oregon career charts. Frederick Jones and Chris Christoffersen will both end their careers among the UO career top 10 in blocked shots, while Jones will leave a larger legacy in many statistical categories.
Jones is now ranked in the career top seven in four categories: three-point field goals, assists, blocks and steals. With 36 points over the weekend, Jones made a major jump on the UO career scoring list. He upped his career scoring total to 1,116 points and passed No. 18 Mike Clark (1,082/1977-81), No. 17 Nick Jones (1,087/1964-67) and No. 16 Charlie Franklin (1,090/1955-58). Next up at No. 15 is former teammate Terik Brown (1,152/1995-99).
Jones had six assists against Pepperdine to pass Mike Barwig (279/1972-76) for seventh. Jones now has 284 career assists, eight back of former teammate Darius Wright (291/1998-00) for sixth.
Jones had his 100th career steal against Pepperdine and currently ranks fourth with 102. He is fifth in blocks with 60 for his career, three back of No. 4 Brett Coffey (63/1987-89). He also had his 100th career three-point field goal against Pepperdine and now has 103, one behind former teammate Alex Scales (104/1998-00) for sixth.
Christoffersen has 45 career blocks and needs four more to pass Keith Balderston (48/1984-88) for eighth.
Anthony Lever needs five three-point field goals to reach the top 10.
75 YEARS AT MAC . . . Mac Court's 75th anniversary is just around the corner. Be sure to mark your calendars for the Jan. 15 game against Willamette. The game will celebrate the very first contest ever played at Mac Court, Jan. 14, 1927, when the 'Webfoots' met the Bearcats. Mac Court is now the oldest Division I facility in the United States, and players from every era will be recognized at halftime.
STATISTICALLY SPEAKING . . . Here's a look at Oregon's returning leaders from 2000-01 in each statistical category:
Points Frederick Jones 14.8Rebounds Frederick Jones 5.6Assists Luke Ridnour 3.8Blocked Shots Chris Christoffersen 0.7Steals Frederick Jones 1.1FG Pct. Frederick Jones .4723FG Pct. Ben Lindquist .381FT Pct. Ben Lindquist .850Minutes Frederick Jones 31.9
RAG TAG . . . Here's a look at where several preseason magazines and other services rank the Ducks in the Pac-10, and in the nation:
Source Pac-10 NationalThe Sporting News 8 66Basketball News 8 --Lindy's 7 --ESPN.com 7 --Street & Smith's 7 --Athlon 7 NIT
ALABAMA STATE RECAP . . . The Ducks won their tenth straight season opener by defeating Alabama State 92-52 Thursday. That streak is second in the Pac-10 to Stanford's 13. James Davis scored a career-high 18 points off the bench, while Robert Johnson impressed in his Duck debut with a double-double: 14 points and 10 rebounds. Five Ducks were in double figures and all but one who played scored at least two points. Oregon held the Hornets to just 52 points, that was the lowest total allowed in a season-opener by Oregon in 19 years (UC San Diego, 63-46 to open the 1982-83 season).
WESTERN MICHIGAN RECAP . . . Oregon's defense continued to shine, allowing the Broncos to score just 48 points -- matching the lowest total given up in coach Ernie Kent's five years at his alma mater -- in a 91-48 victory. Chris Christoffersen scored a career-high 18 points on seven-of-10 shooting from the floor. Anthony Lever came off the bench to add 15 points, including four-of-five three-pointers, while Luke Ridnour scored 12 points and Frederick Jones added 11 points and six assists. Robert Johnson just missed his second straight double-double with nine points and 10 rebounds, while another newcomer, Brian Helquist neared a double-double as well with eight points and nine rebounds. The Ducks held the Broncos to just 30 percent from the floor (18-of-60) and out-rebounded the smaller Broncos 46-26.
LONG BEACH STATE RECAP . . . Luke Ridnour had a career-high 18 points and seven assists as Oregon remained undefeated this season with a 97-67 win against Long Beach State in the America's Youth Classic. Tournament MVP Frederick Jones added a season-high 16 points, Chris Christoffersen 11 and Luke Jackson 10 points and eight rebounds. For the third straight game, the Ducks held the rebound advantage (35-33) and made more than half their field-goal attempts (35-65) en route to their highest point total of the young season. Oregon had scoring runs of 9-0 and 18-0 to start the game as it took an early 27-5 lead. James Davis came off the bench to score eight of the final 10 points in the last run, while the 49ers countered with only two field goals in the first 13 minutes of the game. Long Beach State fought its way back into the game, however, scoring 22 points in the final seven minutes, including nine from James Williams, who led the 49ers with 17 overall. But Oregon still maintained a 44-27 advantage at the break, and took little time extending it once the second half started, taking a 30-point lead on a three-pointer by Anthony Lever that made it 69-39 at the 11:25 mark and the teams played evenly until the end. Joining Jones on the all-tournament team were Oregon's Robert Johnson, the 49ers' Williams, Joey Ball of Alabama State and Steve Reynolds of Western Michigan.
LOUISVILLE RECAP . . . Frederick Jones scored 20 points, and Oregon got some unusually strong play from its big men to dominate Rick Pitino's Louisville team 90-63. Robert Johnson added 10 rebounds for the Ducks, who have won their games by a combined 140 points but needed to face a good opponent like Louisville 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 to lead Louisville. Center Chris Christoffersen, a 7-foot-2, 300-pound Dane who's still learning the game, had 13 points, including six during a quick 8-2 run to start the second 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 that made it 68-43 with 9:52 left. Oregon actually started pulling away midway through the first half, when Louisville was within 17-16. Luke Jackson made a 3-pointer, and reserve forward Brian 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 put Oregon ahead 48-30 at halftime. Helquist, a 6-foot-9 transfer from Florida Community College in Jacksonville, had 10 points. The 6-8 Johnson, who came from Santa Rosa (Calif.) Junior College, had only eight points, but his and Helquist's play freed up the outside shooters. Luke Ridnour had 13 points.
MASSACHUSETTS RECAP . . . Micah Brand sank a turn-around basket with 1:15 remaining and followed with a pair of free throws in the final minute to lead Massachusetts past previously unbeaten Oregon 62-58, Nov. 27 in Springfield, Mass. Oregon led 58-57 with two minutes remaining, but Brand's basket with 1:15 remaining put the Minutemen ahead for good. He added two free throws after the teams traded turnovers in the final minute. Shannon Crooks led UMass with 13 points. Frederick Jones led Oregon with 13 points. Robert Johnson, Luke Jackson and Chris Christoffersen had 12 each for the Ducks, who shot 35.8 percent from the field and were just 3-of-14 on 3-point attempts. Oregon opened up 11-point leads twice in the first half at 19-8 and 21-10. The Minutemen got back into the game with a string of 3-pointers and took their first lead at 27-26 on a driving basket by Anthony Anderson. The teams traded baskets before Christoffersen's layup put Oregon ahead 32-31 at halftime. Christoffersen had his first career double-double with 12 points and 11 rebounds.
PORTLAND RECAP . . . Coky Rochin hit 1-of-2 free throws with 12 seconds left to hand Portland a 79-78 victory over Oregon, Dec. 2 at the Chiles Center for Portland's first victory over Oregon since 1964. Adam Quick had a team-high 20 points, including a 3-pointer that tied the game at 78-78 with 12 seconds left. Sophomore forward Luke Jackson scored a career-high 28 points for Oregon, while point guard Luke Ridnour had 17 points and 7 assists. Rochin's winning free throw was set up when he intercepted a pass intended for Anthony Lever at the Ducks' foul line. Lever then fouled Rochin in an effort to prevent the turnover. Rochin had previously missed 3-of-6 attempts down the stretch. This time, he missed the first of two shots, but hit the second to put the Pilots ahead by one. The Ducks had a chance to win the game at the buzzer, but James Davis shot a leaning 3-pointer that bounced off the rim.
MINNESOTA RECAP . . . Freshman Rick Rickert had 28 points and nine rebounds to lead Minnesota to a 75-72 victory over Oregon Dec. 10 in Minneapolis. Rickert, a McDonald's All-American recruit from Duluth, was 11-for-17 from the field. He had 18 points in the second half, including a key dunk that capped a Gophers rally. Kerwin Fleming added 14 points for the Gophers, who snapped a two-game non-conference losing streak. James Davis, Luke Ridnour, Frederick Jones and Chris Christoffersen each scored 11 points for Oregon, which has lost three games by a combined eight points. The Ducks ran off eight straight points early in the second half to take a 42-35 lead, but the Gophers quickly rallied, tying the game at 46-46 on a 3-pointer by Rickert with 15:23 left. Ridnour scored five straight points to ignite a 12-3 run that put the Ducks ahead 58-49 with 10:56 left. Rickert again led the Gophers back, scoring five points in an 11-2 run, including a dunk off a baseline drive that gave the Gophers a 60-59 lead with 7:20 to play. Davis hit a 3-pointer to put the Ducks back in front, but Tavarus Bennett's three-point play with 3:13 left put the Gophers ahead to stay at 63-62. Rickert hit two free throws and Fleming went 3-for-4 from the line down the stretch. Minnesota scored the first 12 points of the game, with two baskets by Rickert sparking the run. Oregon's bench led the Ducks back into the game, and a driving leaner by Davis gave the Ducks a 34-33 halftime lead.
PEPPERDINE RECAP . . . Frederick Jones came off the bench to score a career-high 21 points and Luke Ridnour had a career-high 20 points as Oregon snapped a three-game losing streak by beating Pepperdine 88-64 Dec. 14 at McArthur Court. Jones also had a season-high in rebounds with nine and matched a season-high in assists with six as he climbed from 19th to 16th in UO career scoring with 1,101 career points. The Ducks out-rebounded their opponents for the eighth straight game, posting a 54-28 edge over the Waves. Oregon held Pepperdine to just 31.7 percent from the field (20-of-63) and just 20 percent (four-of-20) from three-point range. Luke Jackson added 12 points and nine rebounds for Oregon, While Robert Johnson had 11 points and eight rebounds. Jimmy Miggins led Pepperdine with 17 points, while Portland native Craig Lewis added 12. Jones, who had his 100th career three-pointer and his 100th career steal during the game, did not start for the first time since Jan. 20, 2001, against Washington State. Senior Ben Lindquist got the starting nod instead, scoring four points with four rebounds in his first starting assignment since Jan. 4, 2000, against St. Martin's.
NORTHERN ARIZONA RECAP . . . - Frederick Jones, Luke Ridnour and Luke Jackson each scored 15 points as Oregon shot 55 percent to easily beat Northern Arizona 86-51 Dec. 16 at McArthur Court. Robert Johnson added 12 points and seven rebounds for the Ducks, who won their second straight. Brian McHugh scored 12 points for the Lumberjacks, who made just 2-of-19 3-pointers and trailed by 20 at halftime. Jones scored his 15 points in only 19 minutes, shooting 7-of-13 from the field. Jackson was 6-of-8 and Ridnour 5-of-7. Northern Arizona missed eight of its first 10 shots to start the game but trailed only 14-8 before the Ducks put the game away with a 23-5 run. Oregon shot 61 percent in the half. Northern Arizona committed five quick turnovers in the opening minutes of the second half, and the Ducks used a 9-0 run to go ahead 53-24. Ridnour and Jackson made consecutive 3-pointers to extend the lead to 32.