Oregon Rallies Past No. 23 Trojans, 73-69

Feb. 2, 2002

By LANDON HALL
AP Sports Writer

EUGENE, Ore. - Luke Jackson made a leaning jumper and free throw with38 seconds left, and Oregon rallied to beat No. 23 Southern California 73-69Saturday to take over sole possession of first place in the Pac-10.

Luke Ridnour added 15 points, including consecutive 3-pointers in the final4:18, as Oregon (17-5, 9-2) improved to 13-0 at home.

The Ducks, who went just 14-14 last season and 5-13 in the league, arecontending for their first title since winning the Pacific Coast Conference in1945. They've finished second only once in the last 37 years.

Sam Clancy had 25 points and 11 rebounds to lead the Trojans (16-5, 8-3),who had won 11 of 13 games, while Brandon Granville added 17 points.

Two free throws by Clancy put USC ahead 69-68 with 55 seconds left. Oregongot the ball to Jackson, who has perfected a little jumper in which he bumpsinto the defender. Clancy was called for the foul, and the ball rolled into thebasket.

The free throw made it 71-69, and David Bluthenthal's 3-pointer was long atthe other end. James Davis hit two free throws with 1.1 seconds left to sealit.

The two highest-scoring teams in the Pac-10 played a sloppy second half, andOregon missed nine straight 3-pointers to open the half until Frederick Jonesmade one to get the Ducks within 63-60 with 5:44 left.

Ridnour spotted up for the two straight 3s to give Oregon a 68-65 lead.Clancy hit a finger roll to cut the deficit to one, setting up the drama in thefinal minute.

Jones added 14 points and nine rebounds for the Ducks, who shot just 35percent in the second half but committed four turnovers, compared with 11 inthe first half.

The Trojans had won three of their previous five games at McArthur Court.

Oregon, coming off a 29-point rout of No. 13 UCLA on Thursday night, usedsome darting passes inside to center Chris Christoffersen and forward RobertJohnson, combined with the occasional 3-pointer, to take a 21-16 lead. But asthe Trojans proved, Oregon doesn't like to be harassed on defense, and theDucks started getting careless with the ball.

Errick Craven, who did not make the trip to Corvallis for Thursday night'swin over Oregon State because of personal reasons, scored eight points duringan 18-7 run, and the Ducks responded with an 11-1 run.

Christoffersen started to assert himself against Clancy. On one play,Christoffersen set a stifling backcourt pick on him, then chugged downcourt intime to catch a pass and make a layup that put Oregon ahead by four.

Christoffersen lost his cool late in the half, however, getting a technicalfoul for slamming the ball after fouling Clancy on a layup. USC made it afour-point trip, but Ridnour hit an off-balance jumper with 2.6 seconds left togive the Ducks a 43-40 halftime lead.

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