Ducks Dump Cal State Northridge

Nov 26, 2002

By ANNE M. PETERSON
AP Sports Writer

EUGENE, Ore. - After an easy season-opening win, Oregon guard Luke Ridnour was glad his team was tested the next time out.

Ridnour had 19 points and nine assists as the 10th-ranked Ducks struggled to beat Cal State Northridge 86-77 Monday night in the championship game of the John Thompson Foundation Challenge.

'It's big for us to gut this out,' Ridnour said. 'For us to play as poorly as we did, to come back and win is big.'

Cal State Northridge tied the game late in the second half but could not overcome the defending Pacific-10 champion Ducks (2-0), who routed Grambling State 97-52 in the opening round Sunday night.

Chris Davis' layup with 3:17 left tied it at 73 for the Matadors (1-2). Oregon answered with a 5-0 run to go up 78-73, capped by Ridnour's driving layup and foul shot.

Cal State Northridge came as close as 78-76 on Justice Graham's 3-pointer with 1:46 to go before the Ducks pulled away.

'Our whole emphasis is on defense, but they outmanned us, played us tougher and beat us on the boards,' Ridnour said.

Fellow guard Luke Jackson had 23 points for Oregon. Robert Johnson had 10 points and 12 rebounds for his fifth career double-double.

Cal State Northridge was led by Ian Boylan's 13 points and Armand Thomas' 12.

'The only thing I asked of them was to give themselves a chance to win,' Cal State Northridge coach Bobby Braswell said. 'And we did that.'

The Matadors went up 37-36 on a pair of free throws by Davis early in the second half, then extended the lead on Boylan's layup.

The Ducks struggled to regain the lead, tying it three times before going up 51-47 on Brian Helquist's rebound of Ridnour's 3-point try, and Jackson's quick steal and layup.

Oregon extended its lead to 66-54 on Ridnour's 3-pointer midway through the half.

'This might bring us back to reality,' Oregon coach Ernie Kent said. 'We have a target. Opposing teams don't fear you - they're going to come in and get after it.'

The Ducks have won 18 straight at McArthur Court, their longest streak at home since they won 23 in a row from 1937-39.

The Matadors held their own in the first half, jumping out to a 9-3 lead. But the Ducks chipped away, taking a 17-15 lead on Jay Anderson's tip-in with 10:33 left.

The teams went back and forth until the Ducks took a 30-24 lead on James Davis' 3-pointer with 6:34 to go.

Jackson hit a pair of free throws to give the Ducks a 36-31 halftime lead.

'This game showed us a lot,' Helquist said. 'No one is going to come in and lay down for us.'

The Matadors were the last non-conference team to beat the Ducks at McArthur Court, with a 79-77 upset on Dec. 11, 1999.

Jacksonville defeated Grambling State 82-68 in the consolation game earlier Monday.

Cal State Northridge beat Jacksonville 67-55 in the opening round.

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