No. 7 Ducks Take Out Portland, 96-66

Dec. 4, 2002

EUGENE, Ore. (AP) - Two of Oregon's losses last season haunted the Ducksthrough the summer.

They avenged one Wednesday night, and then set their sights on the other.

The seventh-ranked Ducks beat Portland 96-66 to remain unbeaten heading intoSaturday's game against No. 14 Kansas at the Rose Garden.

The Jayhawks eliminated Oregon from the NCAA tournament last season with a104-86 victory in the Midwest Regional final.

But months earlier, the Ducks were upset in Portland, falling 79-78 to thePilots for the second loss in a three-game skid.

It was a different story on Wednesday, as Oregon (4-0) won its 20th straightat McArthur Court, three shy of the school record set from 1937-39.

Luke Jackson had 21 points and 12 rebounds, Luke Ridnour had 17 points andfive assists and center Ian Crosswhite, making the first start of his career,added 16 points, seven rebounds and two blocks for Oregon.

Crosswhite started in place of Brian Helquist, who sprained his rightshoulder in practice on Monday and was held out of Wednesday's game.

'Them beating us last year really left a sour taste in our mouth and theyrubbed it in our face a bit,' Jackson said. 'This year, it was nice to setthe record straight that we're the better team.'

That was obvious from the start.

Oregon opened the game with a 16-3 run as Jackson had six points, fiverebounds and an assist, Robert Johnson had six points and Ridnour added four.

The Pilots pulled within 25-19 with 7:34 to play in the half, but JamesDavis and Ridnour hit consecutive 3s and Andre Joseph added two more 3-pointersas Oregon went up 42-23 on the way to a 50-30 halftime lead.

'When we're moving the ball and being unselfish, we're going to score a lotof points,' Crosswhite said.

Oregon had a 22-8 run to start the second half. Crosswhite scored six pointsand Ridnour and Joseph each hit a 3 to make it 72-38. Joseph finished with 16points.

'We can finally start talking about Kansas,' Oregon coach Ernie Kent said.'It was very difficult to get through this game because everyone has beentalking about Kansas. Right now, it's time for this team to step up to centerstage.'

Donald Wilson and Karl Aaker each had 13 points for the Pilots (3-1).

The Ducks, who had struggled with rebounding in their first three games, hada 25-11 advantage on the boards at halftime and finished up 45-29.

The Pilots committed 22 turnovers, 15 of which were steals by the Ducks.

'We were outplayed and outcoached,' Portland coach Michael Holton said.'It was an uphill battle for us from the beginning. It quickly became theanatomy of a blowout.'

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