No. 10 Ducks Open Season With Easy Win Over Tigers

Nov 24, 2002

AP Sports Writer

EUGENE, Ore. (AP) - It's only one game into Oregon's season, but already coach Ernie Kent says the Ducks have it all together.

'You see a team that is in total harmony,' he said. 'We have the numbers, we have depth and we're playing some pretty good basketball.'

That assessment came after No. 10 Oregon opened its season with a 97-52 rout of Grambling State in the John Thompson Foundation Challenge on Sunday night.

James Davis hit seven 3-pointers for a career-high 21 points.

Davis, who attempted 12 3-pointers, nearly matched Oregon record-holders Orlando Williams, who made eight 3-pointers against Wisconsin-Green Bay in 1994, and Jamal Lawrence, who also had eight against Stanford in 1997.

'James Davis is a terrific shooter,' Kent said. 'He can really stretch the floor and stretch our offense with his range.'

Davis was philosophical about his night.

'It's an up-and-down game,' he said. 'Everybody is going to have their day.'

Luke Ridnour had 21 points and nine assists, and Luke Jackson added 14 points for Oregon, which will face Cal State Northridge - winners over Jacksonville earlier Sunday - in the title game Monday night.

It was the 17th consecutive win for the defending Pacific-10 Conference champions at McArthur Court, as well as their 11th straight season-opening victory.

Grambling State (0-2) was coming off a 99-46 loss to Georgetown on Friday night. The Tigers were equally overwhelmed by the Ducks, who led by as many as 54 points in the second half.

The Tigers were led by William McDonald with 17 points and nine rebounds, but they were hampered with just 23 percent shooting from the floor and 25 turnovers.

But Grambling State simply could not keep up with Oregon's savvy passing and superior speed.

'Certainly, they are on a different level than we are,' Tigers coach Larry Wright said. 'They play the game the way it should be played, and it's beautiful to watch.'

'We have the numbers, we have depth and we're playing some pretty good basketball.'
Head Coach Ernie Kent

Grambling State kept it close through the first 10 minutes, but then Oregon began to pull away. James Davis' pass to Robert Johnson for the dunk made it 21-13 with 8:53 to go.

Oregon led by 22 points in the first half and took a 42-22 lead into halftime. It was all Oregon from then on, with the Ducks going up 67-27 on Davis' 3-pointer.

Before the game, Oregon unfurled its 2002 Pac-10 championship banner from the rafters of Mac Court to a standing ovation from the crowd, which included golfer Casey Martin.

The Ducks finished 26-9 overall and 14-4 in the Pac-10, capping their season with a trip to the NCAA tournament were they lost a final eight game to Kansas.

'It feels good to finally get this season going and get some confidence,' Davis said. 'We're getting into a good rhythm.'

Grambling State finished last season 9-19 overall and 7-11 in the Southwestern Athletic Conference.

Cal State Northridge beat Jacksonville 67-55.

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