No. 7 Ducks Take Out Portland, 96-66

Dec. 4, 2002

EUGENE, Ore. (AP) - Two of Oregon's losses last season haunted the Ducks through 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 into Saturday's game against No. 14 Kansas at the Rose Garden.

The Jayhawks eliminated Oregon from the NCAA tournament last season with a 104-86 victory in the Midwest Regional final.

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

It was a different story on Wednesday, as Oregon (4-0) won its 20th straight at 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 and five assists and center Ian Crosswhite, making the first start of his career, added 16 points, seven rebounds and two blocks for Oregon.







This year, it was nice to set the record straight that we're the better team.




Crosswhite started in place of Brian Helquist, who sprained his right shoulder 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 they rubbed it in our face a bit,' Jackson said. 'This year, it was nice to set the 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, five rebounds 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 James Davis and Ridnour hit consecutive 3s and Andre Joseph added two more 3-pointers as 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 lot of points,' Crosswhite said.

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

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

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, had a 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 the anatomy of a blowout.'

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