No. 9 Ducks Haul In Huskies, 86-64

March 7, 2002

By JOHN NADEL
AP Sports Writer

LOS ANGELES - Leading scorer Frederick Jones was sick, and his Oregonteammates looked tired for most of the first half in the first Pacific-10Conference tournament game in 12 years.

The second half was an entirely different matter.

Luke Jackson scored 16 of his 27 points after halftime, and Jones also gotgoing in the final 20 minutes Thursday as the ninth-ranked Ducks beatWashington 86-64.

'They had a lot more energy than we had in the first half,' said Oregoncoach Ernie Kent, whose team trailed by as many as 13 points. 'We just playedlike we did all year long in the second half.'

Kent said Jones had a fever of 102 degrees shortly before the start of thegame at Staples Center, and the 6-foot-4 senior certainly played like he wasunder the weather in the first half.

But Jones looked healthy after halftime, scoring 13 points to finish with 15and help the Ducks outscore the Huskies 51-22.

'It's a flu that we hope has flown out of him,' Kent said.

Oregon's sixth straight win gave the top-seeded Ducks (23-7) their mostvictories in a season since 1945, when they won 30 games.

'When the game starts, I have to feel better,' Jones said.

Jackson, who also had eight rebounds, made all of his career-high four3-pointers in the second half, which began with the Huskies leading 42-35.

After the first 34 seconds of the second half, the game was delayed forabout 10 minutes because of problems with the shot clock.

Then, the Ducks took over.

They drew within one on 3-pointers by Jackson and Jones. The field goal wasJones' first of the game.

Then, a steal and dunk by Jones six minutes into the half gave Oregon itsfirst lead since the opening eight minutes.

Next, a 3-pointer by Jackson 35 seconds later snapped a 47-all tie and putthe Ducks ahead for good.

A 3-pointer by Mark Michaelis and a three-point play by Jones with 10:02remaining extended Oregon's lead to 61-51, and two foul shots by Jones a littleover two minutes later made it 68-55.

Oregon steadily pulled away after that.

The Ducks split their regular-season games with the Huskies, losing 97-92 inSeattle and winning 90-84 at home, where they went 16-0 to tie a 64-year-oldschool record.

Washington's players made it clear they wanted to play Oregon in thetournament.

'Of course they wanted to play us, we wanted to play them, too,' Jonessaid. 'We hadn't shown them our best game.'

Luke Ridnour had 11 points and six assists, and Robert Johnson had 10rebounds for the Ducks.

Doug Wrenn led the Huskies (11-18) with 14 points and seven rebounds, buthad only two points in the final 25{ minutes. David Dixon added 12 points, andErroll Knight scored 10 for Washington.

'You have to be good for 40 minutes, we played really well the first 20,'Washington coach Bob Bender said. 'They picked up their defense in the second20. I think that was the big difference.'

A 3-pointer by Wrenn with 5:44 left before halftime capped a 23-8 run andgave the eighth-seeded Huskies a 31-18 lead.

The Ducks played like anything but champions to that point, shooting poorlyand committing 10 turnovers. And neither Jones nor Ridnour, averaging 18.6 and15.1 points, respectively, had scored.

Ridnour made two 3-pointers after that to help the Ducks move within sevenat halftime.

'I really thought we had them,' Wrenn said. 'They made adjustments,turned up their defense.'

Oregon, which swept USC and UCLA in Los Angeles last weekend to win itsfirst outright conference title since 1939, was picked to finish sixth in thePac-10 preseason poll.

The Ducks' 14-4 conference record was two games better than California, USC,Stanford and Arizona.

The Pac-10 last held a tournament from 1987-90, with Arizona winning threetimes after UCLA took the first title.

The tournament champion receives an automatic berth in the NCAA tournament,but it's likely at least six Pac-10 teams will receive invitations.

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